Turkey food products linked to infections that have hospitalized 84
Jennie-O is recalling 82 tons of raw ground turkey because of possible salmonella contamination that sickened a person but other brands and products may be affected as well.
The recall was ordered as part of an investigation into 216 cases of salmonella in 38 states. Eighty-four people have been hospitalized, according to the CDC. Patients have reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from different stores, handling raw turkey pet food and/or raw turkey, or working with live turkeys or living with someone who handled live turkeys.
Nine cases have been reported in New Jersey, according to the CDC. The NJ Department of Health said the cases are in Essex (2), Hudson(1), Mercer(2), Middlesex(2), Monmouth(1) and Ocean(1).
The CDC warned that other brands with similar product could also be recalled in the future.
The latest recall was prompted by an unopened, intact package of Jennie-O product found in a the home of a person who tested positive for salmonella. Samples from that person and from the ground turkey are closely related genetically.
The products in question were produced on Oct. 22, 2018 and Oct. 23, 2018, and may have already been frozen by consumers.
The company said illnesses can be prevented by safe handling and proper cooking.
“From a Jennie-O standpoint, we have enacted new processes in our operations including vaccinating our turkeys to protect from salmonella, improved on farm practices and banning salmonella reading eggs, turkeys and genetic stock from a provider known to be positive for salmonella reading," the company said in a statement. "Having said that, while this specific strain has been in the news lately, salmonella has been in existence for centuries. The turkey industry has been working together for many years to reduce salmonella. Despite these efforts, this particular salmonella strain can be found in 29 different manufacturing plants from 19 different companies, according to government agencies.
"We know the issue of Salmonella isn’t specific to us, and to that end, we plan on continuing our leadership role in the effort to reduce Salmonella and educate consumers on how to safely handle and prepare raw turkey and are calling on others in the industry to do the same.”
The following products are subject to recall:
- 3-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use or freeze by” dates of 11/12/18 and 11/13/18 on the side of the trays.
- 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use or freeze by” dates of 11/12/18 on the side of the trays.
- 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with “Use or freeze by” dates of 11/12/18 on the side of the trays.
- 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with “Use or freeze by” dates of 11/12/18 on the side of the trays.
- 3-lb. packages of “Jennie-O Ground Turkey 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use or freeze by” date of 11/13/18 on the side of the trays.
- 2.5-lb. packages of “Jennie-O Ground Turkey 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with a “Use or freeze by” date of 11/13/18 on the side of the trays.
- 3-lb. packages of “STATER BROS. 85% LEAN | 15% FAT ALL NATURAL Ground Turkey” with a “Use or freeze by” date of 11/12/18 on the side of the trays.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-579” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the side of the tray. These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide. The affected product should be thrown out or returned to the point of purchase.
According to the USDA, consumption of food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food-borne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment.
In some people, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
The CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:
- Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another.
- Wash hands before and after handling raw turkey products.
- Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs.
- Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
- Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods.
- Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
- The CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.