If there's any ground turkey in your freezer, there's a new warning to pull it out and check the date and product code — a precaution linked to a widespread salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 200 people, including 18 Minnesotans.
Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Minnesota-based poultry producer, is recalling more than 164,000 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.
The raw ground turkey products, both plain and seasoned (taco and Italian) varieties, were produced on Oct. 22 and 23, with "use or freeze by" dates of Nov. 12 and 13, and were shipped to stores in 17 states, including Minnesota.
This turkey recall follows an earlier one last month. Eating food contaminated with salmonella can be dangerous, even deadly. As of Dec. 18, 216 people infected with salmonella have been reported nationwide, including 84 hospitalizations and one death in California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FSIS is concerned that some contaminated product may be frozen and in consumers' freezers, according to a news release. If you have Jennie-O or Stater Bros. branded ground turkey in your freezer, check the lower left corner of the front of the package or the side of the tray for the USDA mark of inspection. If the number is "P-579," the product is part of the recall. If that number is on a product in your freezer, do not eat or serve the turkey. Throw it away or return it to the place of purchase. If another number is on the package, the product is not part of the recall and is presumed safe to eat.
The recalled turkey products should no longer be in stores, and no other Jennie-O varieties or code dates are included in the recall.
Symptoms of salmonella can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated product. Most people recover without treatment, but diarrhea can be severe and may even require hospital care. Older people, infants and those with weakened immune symptoms are most at risk for serious complications.
If you have questions about the recall, contact Hormel Consumer Engagement, at 1-800-621-3505. The office will be closed Christmas Day.
If you have questions about food safety, contact "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative, at AskKaren.gov. Or call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-674-6854, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.