After warning about an ongoing outbreak of salmonella in raw turkey a week ahead of Thanksgiving, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just announced a recall of raw ground turkey products.
- Thousands of pounds of ground, raw turkey have been recalled for a possible salmonella contamination. The CDC is urging consumers to be especially mindful of safe food practices when dealing with turkey, which means ensuring raw turkey is thoroughly cooked and preventing uncooked turkey from touching anything that can't be thoroughly sanitized before coming into contact with other food products or utensils.
Health officials say the investigation has been complex because the strain has been identified in a wide range of products, and investigators have been interviewing sick people to trace it back to a single source.
The one-pound packages of ground turkey affected include two varieties of plain ground turkey, 85 percent lean and 93 percent lean, as well as packages labeled either taco or Italian seasoned. The recall also was limited to items with "Use By" dates of October 2 (and additionally October 1 for the 93% Lean product).
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Federal Food Safety inspectors say the outbreak involves more than 160 patients in 35 states.
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 ongoing hunt has found the salmonella strain in raw turkey pet food, ground turkey, turkey patties, and in live turkeys, indicating "it might be widespread in the turkey industry".
Pet food with raw turkey was linked to the outbreak previously. "If we had specific products that we could alert consumers to with a Public Health Alert, we would issue one". "Most people get diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and a fever". These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment.
However, Consumer Reports said it is not looking for people to go "cold turkey" on the popular Thanksgiving poultry so long as people are careful cooking and handling the turkeys.