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Turkey Burgers Suspect in Multistate Outbreak

Twelve people are ill with Salmonella infection in 10 states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin — in an outbreak linked to Jennie-O Turkey Store turkey burgers.

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The Minnesota-based company is recalling approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger that may be contaminated with Salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Friday.

FSIS advised that additional raw turkey products may be recalled and urged consumers to take extra care when preparing raw turkey.

The products being recalled include:

Four-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 ink-jetted 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 nationally to retail stores.

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.

Walmart confirms that the turkey burgers were sold at Sam’s Club.

FSIS said it was initially alerted by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services to a patient diagnosed with salmonellosis caused by Salmonella serotype Hadar. The investigation expanded to include 12 people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin who also had been diagnosed with Salmonella Hadar infection; their illnesses occurred between December 2010 and March 2011.

Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health partners, FSIS said it determined that three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin specifically reported eating Jennie-O Turkey Store burgers prior to becoming ill and being hospitalized. The last of these illnesses was reported on March 14.

Jennie-O Turkey Store has created an online resource for consumers with questions about this recall.  It can be found on their website at www.jennieo.com/recall. Media with questions regarding the recall should contact Julie Craven, Vice President of Corporate Communications, at media@j-ots.com or 507-437-5345.

To prevent salmonellosis and other foodborne illnesses, wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. To avoid cross-contamination, wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils; clean up spills right away and keep raw poultry away from other foods that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw poultry and cooked foods. Cook poultry–including ground turkey burgers–to 165° F, as determined with a food thermometer.

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