By Erik Sherman
November 16, 2018

After warning about an ongoing outbreak of salmonella in raw turkey a week ahead of Thanksgiving, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just announced a recall of raw ground turkey products.

According to the agency, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales is recalling 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products. The packages in question have use-by dates of October 1, 2018 or October 2, 2018 and show the code “P-190” inside the USDA inspection mark. The product names are “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT”; “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY”; “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT”; and “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY.”

One concern is that consumers may have contaminated products in their freezers. People should discard the product or return it to the place of purchase.

The overall outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella reading, ongoing since November 2017, has made at least 164 people ill, with a third having needed hospitalization, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigation notice on November 8. The strain killed one person in California.

A variety of types and brands of turkey products have been associated with the illnesses purchased from many different locations. Three people became ill after feeding raw turkey pet food to their pets.

The outbreak strain has been found in raw turkey products, raw turkey pet food, and live turkeys. The CDC has not identified one common supplier as the source, so it may be “it might be widespread in the turkey industry.”

Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite that start within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated product. Illness typically lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, although the infection is more serious for infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

To help stay safe, wash hands and cooking and preparation surfaces often, keep raw meat separate from other foods, cook to proper temperatures, and refrigerate cooked foods promptly.

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