Epidemiology can work; Salmonella Hadar found in fingered Jennie-O turkey burgers

Oh frozen food, you are so helpful during investigations of foodborne illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported last night, in its best CDC-speak,

“Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies have linked this outbreak to eating turkey burgers. Investigators were not able to determine consumption of turkey burgers for all case-patients. However, FSIS determined that at least three of the case-patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin specifically reported eating Jennie-O Turkey burgers the week before their illness began. Samples of Jennie-O ground turkey burgers were collected by public health agencies from the homes of case-patients in Colorado and Wisconsin who tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar. Both turkey burger samples were positive for the outbreak strain. States have reported antibiotic resistance of the outbreak strain to several clinically useful drugs including ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin, and tetracycline.

"As of April 1, 2011, 12 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar have been reported from 10 states: Arizona (1 case), California (1 case), Colorado (1 case), Georgia (1 case), Illinois (1 case), Missouri (1 case), Mississippi (1 case), Ohio (1 case), Washington (1 case), and Wisconsin (3 cases). Isolation dates range from December 27, 2010 to March 24, 2011. Ill persons range in age from 1 year to 86 years old, with a median age of 29 years old. Sixty-three percent are female. Among the 12 ill persons with available information, three have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported."

Frozen to cooked in plastic to done – the bird worked out

Amy and I usually host a Thanksgiving dinner for the Manhattan  (Kansas) stay-at-homes. With Amy almost 40 weeks pregnant and me driving to the Kansas City airport to pick up my youngest, Courtlynn, we kept things simple.

I was going to do another of those fresh turkey breasts, but the store was sold out. So in the name of science, or reality cooking, I got one of those Jennie-O turkeys I’d seen advertized. Pete Snyder has posted a method for cooking a bird direct from frozen, but I wanted to try out this technology.

The bird comes in a plastic bag, and while I’m not a fan of cooking things in plastic bags, this seemed to work. A half-dozen slits, into the oven, off the airport. Too much salt for my taste, and overcooked due to travel, but that’s what the gravy is for. And a day later, the leftovers are yummy.