How Recalled Foods Are Cramping Thanksgiving Dinner Menus This Year

There is no U.S. holiday as food-focused as Thanksgiving, so it’s somewhat worrisome that several big food recalls have hit the U.S. in the days leading up to Thursday, Nov. 22. Even more concerning is that some of the food-safety scares involve turkey, the headliner of Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey recall

On Friday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added raw turkey to its warning about a multidrug-resistant Salmonella outbreak. Earlier this month, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, recalled over 45 tons of raw ground turkey products. Arizona and federal health and agriculture workers suspect the outbreak is wider than just that batch, so they are trying to trace the rest of the outbreak starting from a known infected package found in a Salmonella patient’s home.

“A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that can account for all the illnesses in this outbreak,” the CDC says in its alert.

So if you are among the 88% of people in America who will eat turkey Thursday, don’t eat any of the recalled products and make sure to cook your turkey from other sources to at least 165°F. (Here are CDC & USDA guidelines on safe turkey cooking). Yes, it’s best to use one of those thermometers that stick into the bird.

Romain lettuce recall

In case you were thinking of smugly sticking to salad, check that it doesn’t have any romaine lettuce, because on Monday the CDC warned that romaine lettuce is linked to the E.coli outbreak that has hospitalized 13 people and sickened at least 19 others in 11 U.S. states.

Cake mix recall

Not even dessert is safe. Earlier in November, Duncan Hines recalled several cake mixes—those sweet staples likely to sit in your pantry for a bit. The recall covered Classic White, Classic Yellow, Butter Golden and Confetti.

Ground beef recall

Just going to grab a burger, you say? Not so fast. October also saw recalls of ground beef and curry powders. JBS Tolleson, Inc. has recalled a whopping 3,250 tons of ground beef.

If it feels like there have been a lot of food recall this year, you’re right. The total for 2018 has already surpassed what we’ve seen in past years—and it’s only November.

Nobody gives thanks for food poisoning, so now—before the meal prep starts!—is a good time to cross check your Thanksgiving dinner ingredients with recent recalls and warnings.

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