If there's one thing Americans will remember about 2018 for years to come it is how unsafe our food has been.
Since the start of the year, there have been dozens of recalls for all sorts of food products, from cereal to lettuce and meat, due to contamination that has led to fatal outbreaks.
Despite all of the efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the situation isn't getting any better.
This week, the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that more than 164,000 pounds of Jennie-O Ground Turkey have been recalled due to the possibility of Salmonella contamination.
The meat was produced on October 22 and October 23, then distributed to retailers across the country. You can see the affected product labels here.
In the notice issued by the FSIS, you should keep your eyes peeled for recalled products with "establishment number EST. P-579 inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the side of the tray."
If you've recently purchased Jennie-O ground turkey products, it's imperative that you check your freezer right away.
"FSIS is 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 agency said.
This new recall comes just a little over a month after the company recalled more than 91,000 pounds of raw turkey meat products just before Thanksgiving Day.
Both recalls are linked to the "multi-state outbreak of multi-drug-resistant salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products," that is currently being investigated by the CDC.
In November, the agency revealed that the widespread outbreak has sickened 164 people in 35 states after they came into contact with raw turkey products purchased from a variety of sources.
At the time, 63 people were hospitalized, and at least one death in California has been tied to the outbreak.
If you're going to be serving turkey for Christmas, here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe:
- Don't thaw turkey by leaving it out on the counter. Use the microwave to defrost the meat or immerse in cold water and leave it in the fridge. Just remember to change the water every 30 minutes.
- Don't wash raw meat before cooking so you can minimize the spread of germs to other surfaces.
- Use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
- When reheating leftovers, make sure they're also heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- CDC urges people to avoid feeding cats and dogs raw meat so they don't become sick.