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Jennie-O issues nationwide recall of some ground turkey products

Jennie-O Turkey Store has voluntarily recalled an additional amount of raw ground turkey products. (Photo: Provided by Rick Williamson)

Jennie-O Turkey Store has voluntarily recalled an additional amount of raw ground turkey products.

Information for consumers is available on the Jennie-O Turkey Store website at https://www.jennieo.com/content/ground-turkey-recall.

The recall only includes fresh raw ground turkey with expiration date of 11/12/2018 or 11/13/2018 and is no longer in stores. Please note, no other Jennie-O varieties, other packaging configurations, or code dates are included in this recall.

Important Information for Consumers - Safely Handling Raw Poultry Products

Jennie-O Turkey Store facilities are USDA inspected on a daily basis and meet all USDA regulations for food safety. Scientific and food safety experts, along with the government, point to a high probability that consumers are failing to employ important food safety steps when handling raw turkey.

As the USDA cited in its release, "FSIS and our public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health officials, are investigating a Salmonella Reading outbreak. Please note that FSIS is continuing to investigate illnesses associated with this widespread outbreak, and additional product from other companies may also be recalled. Salmonella is prevalent and can be present in raw poultry and meat – no raw poultry or meat is sterile." The FSIS and CDC also reiterated that, "consumers can protect themselves now and in the future by ALWAYS cooking their turkey, and other poultry products thoroughly, to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees, as measured using a food thermometer. The cooking process kills the Salmonella. No one should be eating partially cooked or raw turkey. Additionally, it is essential that people wash their hands after handling raw poultry, meat, and pet food to avoid cross contamination."

It is important to note that ground turkey is perfectly safe to eat when handled and prepared properly, following the instructions on all Jennie-O product packaging. Consumers can avoid illness associated with Salmonella, including Salmonella Reading, by following the instructions on the packaging.

The issue of illness associated with exposure to Salmonella and the need for proper handling and preparation is not specific to Jennie-O Turkey Store. Salmonella is commonly found in a wide variety of raw foods including ground beef, fruits and vegetables and other products.

"The safe food handling procedures we teach the next generation of chefs are exactly the same as when food is prepared in the home," said Brad Barnes, Certified Master Chef and Director of CIA Consulting, a division of The Culinary Institute of America. "It is so important to avoid cross contamination by keeping raw and cooked food separate. Additionally, frequent and thorough hand washing, as well as sanitizing of all cooking utensils, are two of the most effective methods of preventing contamination."

"Raw meats, including turkey, are safe to eat once they have been cooked thoroughly," said Ron DeSantis, Certified Master Chef and former faculty and administrator at the Culinary Institute of America and former head of dining at Yale University. "Do not handle ready-to-eat food with bare hands and keep hands away from possible sources of contamination – face, hair, eyes and mouth. Always thaw food under refrigeration and put leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours after serving. Lastly, using clean and sanitized tools and equipment are food safety practices and should be done frequently and throughout food preparation and service."

The National Turkey Federation has also commented on preventing illness from Salmonella on its website by noting that consumers " can rest easy knowing they have ultimate control in the fight against foodborne illness."

Statement from Jennie-O President, Steve Lykken:

"We have been working with others in the industry on the issue of Salmonella Reading for some time. Given the fact that there are only a few sources of turkey inputs such as eggs, turkeys and genetic stock to the majority of large turkey companies in the industry, we know this is a much bigger issue that will require the entire industry to eradicate this strain from the turkey supply. From a Jennie-O standpoint, we have enacted new processes in our operations including vaccinating our turkeys to protect from Salmonella, improved on farm practices and banning Salmonella Reading eggs, turkeys and genetic stock from a provider known to be positive for Salmonella Reading. Unfortunately, Salmonella Reading may continue to be found throughout the industry until all companies take the steps necessary to eliminate it from the system. Having said that, while this specific strain has been in the news lately, Salmonella has been in existence for centuries. The turkey industry has been working together for many years to reduce Salmonella. Despite these efforts, this particular Salmonella strain can be found in 29 different manufacturing plants from 19 different companies, according to government agencies.

We know the issue of Salmonella isn't specific to us, and to that end, we plan on continuing our leadership role in the effort to reduce Salmonella and educate consumers on how to safely handle and prepare raw turkey and are calling on others in the industry to do the same. We will continue to collaborate on industry best practices with our peers in the turkey industry.

As always, turkey remains safe to consume when handled and prepared properly. Jennie-O has information available on its website with step-by-step instructions on how to safely prepare and enjoy turkey."

Steve Lykken

President, Jennie-O Turkey Store

Jennie-O Turkey Store has published four simple steps to stay safe. There are more great tips for our consumers at https://www.jennieo.com/content/four-easy-steps to make sure their turkey meals are prepared safely and taste delicious.

Information on the recall:

If consumers have any questions about this recall or about cooking raw turkey, they can contact our consumer engagement team at https://www.jennieo.com/contactus, or at 1.800.621.3505, today (December 21) until 8 pm CT and this Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm CT. Monday - Friday 8 am – 4 pm CT, with the exception of December 25, when our offices will be closed.

These code dates of ground turkey are no longer available in stores.

No additional Jennie-O products other than these code dates are involved in the recall and are safe to consume when cooked properly.

Products affected:

The raw ground turkey products items were produced on October 22 and 23, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

States where the affected product was shipped: AZ, CA, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MI, MN, MO, NM, NV, OH, OK, TX, WI.

Here's everything you need to know to see if your Ground Turkey is part of the recall.

Step 1: Verify that your product is one of the listed varieties.

Step 2: Check the lower left corner of the front of the package or the side of the tray and verify the establishment number is P579. If the establishment is not P579 the product is not part of the recall and is safe to consume.

Step 3: Turn the product on its side. The production code information is on the side of the sleeve.

2.5-lb. packages of "Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7 % FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/13/18. UPC Code: 42222012024

2.5-lb. packages of "Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/13/18. UPC Code: 42222120200

3-lb. packages of "Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7 % FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/12/18 and 11/13/18. UPC Code: 42222130087

3-lb. packages of "Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/13/18. UPC Code: 42222130278

3-lb. packages of "Stater Bros. GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/12/18. UPC Code: 42222131275

1-lb. packages of "Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7 % FAT" with "Use by" date of 11/12/18. UPC Code: 42222502013

1-lb. packages of "Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY" with "Use by" date of 11/12/18. UPC Code: 42222502020

1-lb. packages of "Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY" with "Use by" date of 11/12/18. UPC Code: 42222502044

Step 4: You can either return it to the store where purchased for an exchange or contact our Consumer Engagement team at https://www.jennieo.com/contactus or 1.800.621.3505, today until 8 pm CT and this Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm CT. Monday - Friday 8 am – 4 pm CT, with the exception of December 25, when our offices will be closed.

As a reminder, the CDC is advising that consumers can continue to eat properly cooked turkey products, and that retailers continue selling raw turkey products.

Lastly, the National Turkey Federation is a great resource for more on this topic and has information at http://www.eatturkey.com/.








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