Butterball recalls 39 tons of turkey for possible salmonella contamination

Composite image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Turkey producer giant Butterball is recalling more than 78,000 pounds of raw ground turkey after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday the product may be contaminated with salmonella.

Composite image using Salmonella bacteria image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control, St. George News

Federal officials investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infections found that Butterball ground turkey samples were a close genetic match to samples taken from five patients in two states, the USDA said Wednesday.

The products were shipped to institutions and retailers nationwide. The pre-packed raw ground turkey was produced on July 7, 2018, bearing establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Officials say some consumers may have these products in their freezers and should throw them out.

The following products are subject to the recall:

  • “Butterball everyday Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring” in 48-ounce plastic-wrapped container with 85 percent lean/15 percent fat and sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018, lot code 8188, and UPC codes 22655-71555 or 22655-71557 printed on the label.
  • “Butterball everyday Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring” in 16-ounce plastic-wrapped container with 93 percent lean/7 percent fat and sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018, lot code 8188, and UPC codes 22655-71555 or 22655-71557 printed on the label.
  • “Butterball everyday Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring” in 16-oz. plastic wrapped container with 85 percent lean/15 percent fat and sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018,  lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71546 printed on the label.
  • “Butterball everyday Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring” in 16-ounce container with 93 percent lean/7 percent fat and sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018, lot code 8188 and UPC codes 22655-71547 or 22655-71561 printed on the label.
  • “Kroger ground turkey fresh” in 48-ounce container with 85 percent lean/15 percent fat and sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018, lot code 8188, and UPC code 111141097993 printed on the label.
  • “Food Lion 15 percent fat ground turkey with natural flavorings” with sell or freeze by date of July 26, 2018, lot code 8188 and UPC code 3582609294 printed on the label.

Another Salmonella outbreak affecting raw turkey products and a strain being monitored by the USDA and the CDC is the “multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading” strain, according to a statement issued by the CDC last month.

The agency announced Feb. 13 that 279 cases of people being infected with the strain have been reported from 41 states and the District of Columbia since the outbreak was announced in November, 2018. These reports include Utah and all surrounding states except Wyoming. Of those, 107 have been hospitalized, and one death was reported in California.

“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,” the CDC said.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

The CDC says Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year, and food is the primary source.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12-72 hours after infection, and the illness typically lasts 4-7 days. While most recover without treatment, in some cases the diarrhea may be so severe hospitalization becomes necessary, particularly in older adults and infants who are more likely to develop a severe illness, the Centers for Disease Control says.

Safe food handling tips for raw turkey products

  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another – always wash hands before and after handling handling raw turkey products.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food..
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make pets sick, and the family can also become ill by handling the raw food or by taking care of a pet.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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