Butterball is recalling 39 tons of ground turkey products due to potential salmonella contamination, the North Carolina-based company said in a statement Wednesday. Eating or handling contaminated food can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses.
Since December, six cases of illness from salmonella Schwarzengrund have been reported in three states: Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Carolina, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One person was hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.
The cases are not related to a previous multistate salmonella outbreak linked to turkey products.
The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service noted that the prepacked raw ground turkey was produced July 7 and that all the recalled products have a use- or sell-by date of July 26, 2018. The recalled products were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide, according to the USDA. Most of the potentially contaminated products carry the Butterball brand, but two lots are branded Kroger and Food Lion.
"Because these products were packaged nine months ago, it is highly unlikely any of the product will be found in retail stores, but it is possible that consumers may have product in their freezers," Butterball spokeswoman Christa Leupen said.
Diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours are the most common symptoms of a salmonella contamination. Most people recover without treatment from the illness, which usually lasts four to seven days. In some people, though, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.
Infants, older adults and people with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing cancer treatment, are more likely to develop a severe illness. Anyone concerned should contact a health care provider.
Butterball is working with the USDA and state health departments to encourage people to check their freezers for any of these products and to dispose of them.
It is important to follow safe handling and cooking instructions when serving turkey. Always wash your hands, cooking utensils and surfaces thoroughly and avoid cross-contamination with other foods. The USDA recommends that you cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, as measured by a food thermometer. And, to prevent food safety problems, refrigerate promptly.
Impacted products will be dated July 26, 2018, and bear the establishment number "EST. P-7345" inside the USDA mark of inspection, while carrying these UPC code/batch codes:
Butterball Fresh Everyday Ground Turkey All Natural 85% Lean / 15% Fat, Tray Pack 16-ounce UPC 22655-71546;
Butterball Fresh Everyday Ground Turkey All Natural 93% Lean / 7% Fat, Tray Pack 16-ounce UPC 22655-71561;
Butterball Fresh Everyday Ground Turkey 85% Lean / 15% Fat, Tray Pack 48-ounce UPC 22655-71555;
Butterball Fresh Everyday Ground Turkey All Natural 85% Lean / 15% Fat, Tray Pack 48-ounce UPC 22655-71557;
Kroger Fresh Ground Turkey 85% Lean / 15% Fat, Tray Pack 48-ounce UPC 111141097993;
Food Lion 15% Fat Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings, Tray Pack 48-ounce UPC 3582609294;
Butterball Fresh Everyday Ground Turkey All Natural 93% Lean / 7% Fat, Tray Pack 48-ounce UPC 22655-71556;
Butterball All Natural Ground Turkey 85% Lean / 15% Fat, Tray Pack 16-ounce UPC 22655-71547.