The hushed-up truth about hamburger will turn your tummy

Summer's winding down, and in many parts of the country people are enjoying the last of their BBQs before the cooler weather moves in.

Not to brag, but here in Southern California we have the grill out all year long.

Sometimes, it's a salmon filet cooked on a cedar plank. Other times, we've got chicken made with my secret marinade. And of course we enjoy the occasional steak with some garlic and a pinch of salt.

But there's one thing that never touches my grill and that's hamburger, and a new analysis from Consumer Reports shows why: It's just about the filthiest thing in the supermarket.

And when I say filthy, I mean ground beef is quite literally crawling with some of the worst germs imaginable.

They're the nasty bacteria found in feces.

Tests by the magazine on 300 packages of ground beef from 26 cities around the country -- 458 pounds of meat in total -- found poop germs in every single one, with every package tested containing either enterococcus or E. coli.

Some had both. YUCK!

In addition, 20 percent contained Clostridium perfringens, 10 percent contained Staphylococcus aureus and 1 percent contained Salmonella.

Bacteria were found in both organic and conventional meats, although conventional meats were twice as likely to have drug-resistant strains of the bugs inside.

The magazine recommends cooking all burgers to at least 160 degrees -- to the point where there's no "pink" left in the middle -- to ensure the bacteria are killed and the meat won't make you and your loved one sick.

I'd add that you should limit your intake of hamburger anyway. And when you do have it, choose organic beef and cook it yourself (and of course make sure it's cooked through, as Consumer Reports recommends).

Better yet, since you should limit red meat anyway, make a special occasion out of it and treat yourself and your family to better cuts of beef instead. Because bacteria can't get inside whole cuts of meat, you can enjoy it rare or medium rare without having to worry about bacterial contamination.