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By Associated Press
Jennie-O Turkey is recalling almost 92,000 pounds of ground turkey because of a nationwide salmonella outbreak, the company announced this week. Federal regulators say additional products from other companies could be named as their investigation continues.
Not counting pet food, the recall was the first linked to a widespread and ongoing outbreak that has resulted in one death and 164 reported illnesses in 35 states.
Jennie-O products have not been specifically linked to the death and illnesses, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture did not say how many of those affected had consumed the company’s products.
The products being recalled are 1-pound packages of raw, ground Jennie-O turkey that were sold nationwide. The turkey had use-by dates of early October and shouldn’t be in stores anymore, but could still be in freezers. Regulators say the turkey should be thrown away.
Jennie-O’s parent company, Hormel Foods Corp. of Austin, Minnesota, said in a statement issued Thursday that government agencies have found the strain implicated in the outbreak in 29 manufacturing plants from 19 companies.
Department of Agriculture officials have not named those plants or companies. The agency says it has to be able to link a specific product to illnesses before it can prompt a recall. It noted that salmonella is not considered an adulterant in raw poultry unless products can be clearly linked to illnesses.
With Thanksgiving approaching, the agency is reminding people that they should always properly handle and cook their turkeys to kill any possible salmonella. Salmonella in food is estimated to be responsible for 1 million illnesses a year, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.
Pet food with raw turkey was previously linked to the outbreak, and another Minnesota company recalled pet food with the same strain of salmonella.