There’s yet another meat recall. In a year that’s seen more than it’s fair share of recalls, a recent Salmonella outbreak associated with raw turkey is the latest in what seems like a very long line of illness-making issues. The USDA’s Food and Safety Inspection Services recently announced a recall of approximately 91,388 pounds of Jennie-O raw ground turkey products.

Read on for the full scoop about this recall—and how it fits into a much bigger Salmonella outbreak affecting the country.

Steve Lykken, Jennie-O President said in a statement, “On behalf of the thousands of Jennie-O team members, we were concerned to learn that someone became ill after exposure to Salmonella in a raw turkey product. 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.” In an email to Red Tricycle, a Jennie-O spokesperson clarified that this particular recall “is linked to only one illness versus the industry-wide issue.”

This recall falls in the middle of a major Salmonella outbreak currently under investigation by the CDC. According to the CDC’s stats, there have been 164 confirmed cases of Salmonella across 35 states as of Nov. 5. This includes one death and 63 hospitalizations. While FSIS and the CDC have identified the recalled Jennie-O turkey products as a potential source of this illness, they are yet to find one common turkey supplier.

Recall Description: Jennie-O Turkey

This recall includes Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC raw ground turkey products. The specific products included in this recall are:

  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use by” dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.

Why the Turkey Was Recalled

Again, the ground turkey products were recalled due to Salmonella concerns. An FSIS, CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services investigation traced Salmonella back to an unopened package of Jennie-O brand ground turkey in a patient’s home. The turkey sample matched the strain of the recent outbreak.

Even though the Jennie-O turkey matched the strain, other turkey products could also contain the bacteria. The CDC is still investigating the outbreak. As of now the Jennie-O recall is only linked to one illness. The specific origin of the remainder of Salmonella-linked illnesses is still unknown.

How to Tell if Your Turkey Was Recalled

Along with matching your Jennie-O product to the types of turkey that fall under this recall (the four different products previously mentioned), look for the establishment number “P-190” inside of the USDA’s mark of inspection on the packaging.

The current list of states where the affected products were shipped include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

What Parents Can Do

Do not eat the turkey. Throw the turkey away. If you have questions, contact the Jennie-O Consumer Engagement Team at 1-800-621-3505 from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. You can also call from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. Central Time on Saturday or Sunday.

When it comes to turkey safety (especially with Thanksgiving on the horizon), always cook your poultry completely. According to the CDC, consumers should always cook turkey to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Always thoroughly wash your hands and any cooking or food prep surface after handling raw turkey.

Of the recent recall and overall turkey safety, Lykken added, “We know the issue of Salmonella isn’t specific to Jennie-O, 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. We will continue to collaborate on industry best practices with our peers in the turkey industry.As always, turkey remains safe to consume when handled and prepared properly. Jennie-O has information available on its website with step-by-step instructions on how to safely prepare and enjoy turkey.”

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: Alison Marras via Unsplash 



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