Over 91,000 pounds of Jennie-O ground turkey products have been recalled due to a multi-drug resistant strain of salmonella being found in the meat as well as in live turkeys. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arizona health officials found the salmonella strain in ground turkey at a person’s home who had fallen ill recently. Health officials have not pinpointed the origin for the salmonella outbreak, which they say is an indicator that it might be widespread within the turkey industry. Bad timing right? Right.
Everyone must be extra cautious with Thanksgiving just days away. Children and the elderly are the most likely ones to develop severe cases of salmonella. The bacteria can be extremely dangerous if it spreads into one’s bloodstream.
The CDC has taken to social media and other platforms to remind people how to handle raw meat safely. Their primary tips are as follows:
- Wash your hands before and after handling raw turkey products.
- Cook raw turkey to an internal temperature of 165 F to kill any harmful germs.
- Keep raw turkey separate from other food you are preparing.
- Do not feed raw meat to pets.
Jennie-O’s president Steve Lykken said recently in a press release that they have worked with the turkey industry for many years to reduce Salmonella but “despite these efforts, this particular Salmonella strain can be found in 29 different manufacturing plants from 19 different companies, according to government agencies.” Lykken says that while they know the Salmonella issue isn’t specific to Jennie-O, they plan to continue their leadership role in an effort to reduce Salmonella and educate consumers on how to safely handle and prepare raw turkey. They urge others in the industry to do the same.
This outbreak, with turkey products in particular, has hospitalized 63 people since the bacteria was identified in September 2017. Cross contamination or under cooking is what can cause illness so it’s important for people to know how to handle the meat correctly.
Everyone please be careful over the holiday. For more details, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention site. You will find the latest information about the outbreak there.