Earlier this week, we shared the worrying news that raw turkey had been linked to a salmonella outbreak.
Now, less than a week before Thanksgiving, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a recall of raw turkey products because of these health risks.
Salmonella is a bacteria which causes an infection called salmonellosis, and can lead to symptoms including headaches, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting.
Most patients recover in less than a week, but in other cases hospitalization is required, and infections caused by salmonella can be more serious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned last week that more than 160 people in 35 states had fallen ill in cases related to raw turkey products.
Of those cases, 63 people were sent to the hospital because of salmonella, and one patient in California died from an infection linked to the outbreak.
The agency warned that live turkeys, ground turkey products, turkey patties, and raw turkey pet food from a variety of brands and sources had all been linked to illnesses.
This week, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales recalled more than 90,000 pounds of raw turkey meat products, after a sample tested positive for salmonella.
While this is a major recall, the salmonella outbreak can be traced back to November 2017, and it seems that other affected products could still be on store shelves.
In fact, the USDA only reports the Jennie-O products "may be associated" with the outbreak, and says more products may be recalled in the future.
The states with the most cases linked to the outbreak so far are Minnesota, Illinois, California, New York, and Texas.
To keep your family safe this Thanksgiving, be sure to handle and prepare any turkey products carefully, including by following these guidelines:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after handling raw meat.
- Use warm, soapy water to clean surfaces that came in contact with uncooked meat.
- Do not wash raw poultry, since this can spread germs to other surfaces in your kitchen.
- Use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.
- Cook turkey meat (including leftovers) to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
The CDC also recommends not feeding your pet raw meat products.