Not as simple as just cook it: Ground turkey linked to Salmonella illnesses prompt Butterball recall

I use a lot of ground turkey – it’s my preferred ground meat for tacos and homemade burgers and tomato sauce. I switched to turkey when my kids were younger (because I was so much more freaked out about STECs, it was one way to manage the risk).

A year ago we did some work with RTI for FSIS on ground turkey preparation and during our observations found that cross-contamination could be a particularly an issue (to spice bottles and other areas).

Yesterday Butterball recalled over 75k lbs of ground turkey products after being linked to a Salmonella Schwarzengrund outbreak investigation.

FSIS and public health partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, have been investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund illnesses involving 5 case patients from 2 states. Wisconsin collected three intact Butterball brand ground turkey samples from a residence where 4 of the case patients live. The case patients and ground turkey Salmonella Schwarzengrund isolates are closely related, genetically.

Butterball, LLC, a Mount Olive, N.C. establishment, is recalling approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The prepacked raw ground turkey was produced on July 7, 2018. The following products are subject to recall: [View Labels (PDF only)]

48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC codes 22655-71555 or 22655-71557 represented on the label.
48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71556 represented on the label.
16-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (85% LEAN/15% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 22655-71546 represented on the label.
16-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “BUTTERBALL everyday Fresh Ground Turkey WITH NATURAL FLAVORING (93% LEAN/7% FAT)” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC codes 22655-71547 or 22655-71561 represented on the label
48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “Kroger GROUND TURKEY FRESH 85% LEAN – 15% FAT” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188, and UPC code 111141097993 represented on the label.
48-oz. plastic wrapped tray containing “FOOD LION 15% fat ground turkey with natural flavorings” with sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18, lot code 8188 and UPC code 3582609294 represented on the label.
The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.