USDA Recalls Raw Ground Turkey Over Dangerous Salmonella Outbreak

USDA won’t name turkey plants despite 164 illnesses and 1 death
By Coral Beach

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service just issued a nationwide recall of turkey products linked to a salmonella outbreak.

1-pound packages of "Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY" with a "Use by" date of October 2, 2018.

Salmonella causes more than 1 million illnesses every year, and food is the main source.

Experts urge consumers to practice good food safety when handling raw turkey in the kitchen this holiday season.

Flashback: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an outbreak of salmonella in raw turkey back in July.

The first illnesses related to the strain began in November of past year, according to a CDC investigation.

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The strain involved has been linked to a yearlong outbreak of 164 cases of illness, including one death, in 35 states. "7% FAT" with "Use by" dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018.

While the recalled products have passed their "use by" dates, the concern is that you might still have some recalled turkey in your freezer. The strain is also responsible for one person's death in California.

Problems: According to the CDC, it's not clear where the outbreak originated, which means it could be spread among multiple distributors in the turkey industry. The agency says it has to be able to tie a specific product to illnesses before it can prompt a recall. Most people infected with the bacteria recover within a week without treatment, but serious cases may require hospitalizations for invasive infections, such as meningitis and bloodstream infections.

The US Department of Agriculture and the CDC have been working with the industry, asking what steps could be taken to reduce this kind of contamination, and the investigation is ongoing.

Since the investigation began in February, state public health officials have been interviewing patients, looking at grocery receipts and shopper card data, and testing any turkey products that they had in their homes to search for a common supplier.

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. The CDC has reported that many of those affected purchased ground turkey, turkey parts, or whole turkeys.

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