12 sick with salmonella linked to turkey burgers

They may be all natural and lean, but raw, frozen turkey burgers can contain salmonella. With raw, frozen turkey thingies and burgers, and raw frozen beef patties, people have been observed to treat them like a sterile mini-Frisbee because they are frozen, leading to cross-contamination. And something like 1 per cent of Americans say they use a tip-sensitive thermometer to ensure burgers or thingies have reached a safe temperature; color is a lousy indicator of safety. That’s why it’s important to reduce loads of dangerous microorganisms in foods before they reach the food service or home kitchen.

At least 12 people throughout the U.S. are sick with Salmonella serotype Hadar, with illnesses occurring between December 2010 and March 2011. Health types determined that three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin specifically reported eating a Jennie-O ground turkey burger prior to illness onset and hospitalization; the last of these illnesses was reported on March 14, 2011.

Last night, Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Willmar, Minn. establishment, recalled approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with salmonella. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) continues its investigation of illnesses related to this recall, additional raw turkey products may be recalled.

The products subject to recall include:
• 4-pound boxes of Jennie-O Turkey Store® "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat". Each box contains 12 1/3-pound individually wrapped burgers.

A use by date of "DEC 23 2011" and an identifying lot code of "32710" through "32780" are inkjetted on the side panel of each box, just above the opening tear strip. Establishment number "P-7760" is located within the USDA mark of inspection on the front of each box. The products were packaged on Nov. 23, 2010 and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/ Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.