Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned consumers about a 35-state outbreak of salmonella that’s been linked to raw turkey. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) followed suit, announcing a recall of raw ground turkey products.
Since it began last year, the salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey has caused one death and 164 reported illnesses in those 35 states. As of last week, regulators hadn’t been able to tie any cases to a specific product or supplier. Not anymore.
According to the USDA, turkey company Jennie-O is recalling 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products. The affected product can be identified relatively easily, too. Concerned customers should look for these signs:
- A “use by” date of October 1, 2018 or October 2, 2018 (uh, why would you still have that turkey, anyway?).
- The code “P-190” inside the USDA inspection mark.
- Product name: “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN 7% FAT”
- “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY”
- “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN 15% FAT”
- “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY.”
The agency is also concerned that consumers may have contaminated products in their freezers and advised them to discard the product or return it to the place of purchase. Not listed on that recall are those big ol’ frozen turkeys you’re buying for something like 16 cents a pound at places like Walmart, but folks are obviously wondering what a Thanksgiving propelled solely by Honey Baked Ham tastes like (gross, that’s how it tastes).
Don’t worry, because salmonella is considered widespread in poultry, and it’s perfectly legal for supermarkets to sell raw turkey that has the bacteria. Life in the modern age, thankfully, has taught us how to prepare that big bird without getting people sick. Here are some tips on proper handling and preparation:
- Don’t rinse raw turkey — that can spread any germs via the splish splash.
- Clean hands and cooking surfaces that come into contact with raw turkey (duh?).
- Cook birds to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees (read: that pop-up timer is cool, but stick a real thermometer in that bird before you serve it to grandma).
Have fun, and let us know if your Thanksgiving foolishly turned vegetarian after reading this.