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Jennie-O Recalls 55,000 Pounds Of Turkey Burgers

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DETROIT (WWJ) – If you’re thinking of making turkey burgers for dinner tonight — you may want to check your freezer.

Jennie-O Turkey is recalling nearly 55,000 pounds of turkey burgers sold exclusively at Sam’s Club Stores nationwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) says it may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The products subject to recall include 4-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 inkjetted 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 to retail establishments nationwide.

As FSIS continues its investigation of illnesses related to this recall, additional raw turkey products may be recalled. As a result, FSIS is alerting consumers to take extra care when preparing all raw turkey products.

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, and cook poultry—including ground turkey burgers—to 165° F, as determined with a food thermometer.

Consumers who have purchased “Jennie-O Turkey Store: All Natural Lean White Meat Turkey Burgers” from Sam’s Club stores with a USE BY date of  DEC 23  2011 should not consume it. Instead, the company is asking that consumers return this product to a Sam’s Club store for a full refund.

According to the FSIS, consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses.

Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days.

The investigation into this recall began when the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services notified FSIS of 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 have been diagnosed with Salmonella Hadar infection, with illnesses occurring between December 2010 and March 2011.

Working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state public health partners, FSIS determined that three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin specifically reported eating this product prior to illness onset and hospitalization; the last of these illnesses was reported on March 14, 2011.

As a result of the epidemiologic investigation, FSIS determined that there is a link between the Jennie-O ground turkey products and this illness outbreak. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, affected state public health partners, and the company on the investigation.

(Copyright 2011 by WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved.)

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