Jennie-O recalls more than 164,000 pounds of ground turkey over salmonella concerns

The latest recall comes amid an investigation into an outbreak of illness that has sickened 216 people across 38 states.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

A recall of ground turkey products made by Jennie-O Turkey Store has been expanded to include 164,210 pounds due to the possibility of salmonella contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced.

The government agency issued a release on Dec. 21 that the poultry company has expanded an earlier recall issued in November. The newly recalled products were produced at a Minnesota facility and have markings saying to use or freeze by Nov. 12 or 13.

More than 160,000 pounds of ground turkey made by Jennie-O have been recalled due to concerns over salmonella contamination.

The announcement comes as the FSIS and Centers for Disease Control investigate an outbreak of illnesses to 216 people across 38 states that began in November and has resulted in one death.

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The recall applies to 3-pound and 2.5-pound packages of Jennie-O ground turkey and Stater Bros. ground turkey, as well as 1-pound packages of Jennie-O ground turkey, taco-seasoned ground turkey and Italian-seasoned ground turkey, according to the recall notice. The products have "EST. P-579" inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the side of the tray.

The recall applies to seven different kinds of Jennie-O turkey. fsis.usda.gov

Products subject to the recall were shipped to Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin, according to The Associated Press.

The previous recall announcement included more than 147,000 pounds of raw ground turkey items produced at a Wisconsin facility.

Symptoms of salmonella illness include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. They usually appear 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food, according to the CDC.

In order to protect yourself against illness related to salmonella, experts warn not to wash any poultry before eating it because it can often spread germs.

“You’re not making the poultry any cleaner and you’re spreading bacteria around your kitchen and probably cross-contaminating other things,” Chris Bernstein, director of food education at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told TODAY last month.

The only way to kill the bacteria is to cook the poultry thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Health officials advise following traditional procedures for avoiding cross-contamination as well.

Each year, salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths in the U.S., the CDC estimates.