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article imageJennie O Turkey — Salmonella outbreak reported in US and Canada

By Karen Graham     Dec 22, 2018 in Health
Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, Inc., is recalling approximately 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products due to the possibility of salmonella contamination, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says.
The FSIS notes that this recall of ground turkey products is in addition to a previous recall of raw ground turkey products associated with an outbreak that occurred on Nov. 15, 2018.
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to investigate this outbreak of Salmonella infections.
This is a Class 1 recall, meaning it is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
In the U.S., the total number of illnesses related to this recall numbers 216 people across 38 states since the outbreak began in November. Eighty-four people have been hospitalized and one death has been reported.
The Public Health Agency of Canada said Friday there have been 22 cases of illness in four provinces. All of the illnesses there occurred between April 2017 and November 2018, but nearly half of the illnesses began in October and November of this year. Five patients have been hospitalized and one person died.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Epidemiological and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick." This is the same strain found in Canada.
Jennie O product recall
The recalled ground turkey items were produced at the Jennie-O's facility in Faribault, Minnesota, between Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 of this year.
The Jennie O products in this latest recall were marked "EST. P-579" on the side of the tray and were shipped in 1-pound, 2.5-pound, and 3-pound packages. They were shipped nationwide.
Jennie O ground turkey
Jennie O ground turkey
Jennie O
In the November 2018 recall, the company recalled more than 91,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products from its Barron, Wisconsin, facility. Those packages were marked "EST. P-190" and were sold in 1-pound packages.
The FSIS and Canadian Public Health agencies are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
The CFIA is collaborating with the overall outbreak investigation and is liaising with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding their investigation into the potential turkey source. The CFIA will issue food recall warnings to inform Canadians if any products recalled in the U.S. were imported in Canada.
But a word of caution now that the holidays are upon us - Always handle raw turkey and raw chicken carefully, and cook it thoroughly to prevent food-related illnesses like Salmonella. The CDC points out: “The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry."
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