At least 77 illnesses of Salmonella Heidelberg in 26 states have been linked to consumption of ground turkey products.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that may be associated with use and consumption of ground turkey.
This public health alert was initiated after continuous medical reports, ongoing investigations and testing conducted by various departments of health across the nation determined there is an association between consumption of ground turkey products and an estimated 77 illnesses reported in 26 states. The illnesses were linked through an epidemiologic investigation and PFGE analyses by state health departments and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
FSIS reminds consumers of the critical importance of following package cooking instructions for frozen or fresh ground turkey products and general food safety guidelines when handling and preparing any raw meat or poultry. In particular, while cooking instructions may give a specific number of minutes of cooking for each side of the patty in order to attain 165 °F internal temperature, consumers should be aware that actual time may vary depending on the cooking method (broiling, frying, or grilling) and the temperature of the product (chilled versus frozen) so it is important that the final temperature of 165 °F must be reached for safety. Please do not rely on the cooking time for each side of the patty, but use a food thermometer.
Ground turkey and ground turkey dishes should always be cooked to 165 °F internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers also should be reheated to 165 °F. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. The meat of smoked turkey is always pink.
Better than ‘piping hot.’ But watch out for the cross-contamination.