Another 82 tons of raw turkey recalled as Salmonella Reading outbreak turns deadly

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Another Jennie-O Turkey Store, this one in Faribault, MN, late Friday recalled more than 164,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Reading, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The recalled turkey was shipped to retail locations nationwide. Based on the continuing investigation, additional products from other companies may also be recalled.

As recently as Nov. 15, the Jennie-O Turkey Store in  Barron, WI, began a recall that ended up totaling more than 147,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products that also may be associated with an outbreak of Salmonella Reading infections.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

As the latest Jennie-O raw turkey recall was being announced, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was also providing an update on the Salmonella Reading outbreak. The CDC says since its Nov. 8 report, 52 people from 26 states and the District of Columbia have been added to the outbreak totals. The agency also reported the first fatality in the outbreak.

FSIS is concerned that some of the recalled turkey may be frozen and in consumers’ homes. Anyone who has purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. To view photos from all of the products subject to the new recall, please click here.

CDC also report in its Dec. 21 update that:

  • As of Dec. 18, there have been 216 people from 38 states and the District of Columbia confirmed with infections from the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading.
    • 84 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.
  • In interviews, ill people reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
  • The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
    • On Nov. 15, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales in Barron, WI, recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products.
    • On Dec. 21, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales LLC, in Faribault, MN, recalled 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products.
    • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Reading bacteria in Canada.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

The newly recalled raw ground turkey items were produced on Oct. 22 and 23, 2018. 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 recalled products have the establishment number “EST. P-579” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the side of the package trays.

FSIS, CDC,  the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, have been conducting traceback activities for a sample of Jennie-O brand ground turkey in an intact, unopened package from a case-patient’s home. The patient tested positive for Salmonella Reading and the samples from the case-patient and from the ground turkey are closely related genetically.

This investigation is part of a larger effort involving FSIS, the CDC, and state public health and agriculture partners. Patients have reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different stores, handling raw turkey pet food and/or raw turkey, or working with live turkeys or living with someone who handled live turkeys. FSIS continues to work with the CDC and state health and agriculture departments on this larger investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne 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 persons, 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. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume raw poultry product that has been cooked to a temperature of 165°F. Safe steps in food handling, cooking, and storage are essential in preventing foodborne illness. You can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow the four guidelines to keep food safe:

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate — Separate raw meat, poultry and fish from other foods.
  • Cook — Cook to the right temperature.
  • Chill — Refrigerate food promptly.

For additional details on the previous recall, please see:

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