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Jennie-O recalls 90,000 pounds of ground turkey nationwide

November 16, 2018

Jennie-O recalls 90,000 pounds of ground turkey nationwide

Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, has recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products that might be linked to the illnesses from other raw turkey products that have affected 164 people in 35 states, including six in Ohio. One person in California has died.

Recalled so far are 1-pound packages of Jennie-O ground turkey including “93 percent lean” with “use by” dates of Oct. 1 and 2; Taco Seasoned with “use by” date of Oct. 2; “85 percent lean” with “use by” date of Oct. 2 and Italian Seasoned with “use by” date of Oct. 2. Consumers should also check for another identifying factor, the presence of the establishment number “P-190” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Consumers are advised to throw away the affected packages or return them to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact the company daily at 1-800-621-3505.

While the recalled items were produced in October, government officials fear consumers may have frozen these products at home.

The recall does not include whole frozen turkeys that may have been purchased for Thanksgiving. But USDA officials say more companies and products could be recalled in this year-old investigation of Salmonella Reading.

The bacteria strain has been found in raw turkey pet food in Minnesota, raw turkey products collected from people’s homes and live turkeys from several states, indicating the contamination is widespread in the industry, noted the Washington Post.

According to the Post, groups such as Consumer Reports are asking for names of suppliers where a bacteria closely related to Salmonella Reading has been found. But, the Post added, USDA officials said in a statement that “it would be ‘grossly irresponsible and reckless’ to identify the brands or name the companies that operate the facilities ‘when a link from an establishment to an illness has not been made.’”

Several government agencies are recommending vigilant food safety at home, including the Ohio Department of Health, which offered key actions:

· Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another.

· Cook turkey – and leftovers -- to an internal temperature of 165 degrees to kill harmful germs. Use a food thermometer, placing it in the thickest part of the food.

· Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking; germs can splash around your kitchen. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. If possible, use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats.

· Never thaw your turkey on the counter. Use the refrigerator, a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or the microwave.

More detailed safety instructions from the USDA can be found online.

According to the USDA, the most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. In some individuals, the diarrhea may severe enough for hospitalization. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more at risk. Concerned individuals should contact their health care provider.

Those sickened by the bacteria, according to news releases, reported a wide variety of turkey contact including “eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different stores, handling raw turkey pet food and/or raw turkey, or working with live turkeys or living with someone who handled live turkeys.”

None of the illnesses connected to the outbreak came from Northeast Ohio. There were two in Hamilton County and one each in Butler, Lucas, Fairfield and Montgomery, according to J.C. Benton, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health. Ages ranged from 4 to 76 years. One person was hospitalized, but no deaths reported.

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