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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Does Turkey have a Salmonella Problem – Again?

photofsn.JPGI am at the 100th meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) in Milwaukee (See our booth). All the talk of course was about food safety as I gave the opening speech this morning about the Food Safety Modernization Act and handed out $40,000 in scholarships to local, state and international health departments this evening.

However, the talk was also about yet another health advisory by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that was issued Friday night due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that may be associated with use and consumption of ground turkey. The alert was initiated after there was an association between consumption of ground turkey products and an estimated 77 illnesses reported in 26 states. Yet, the name of the manufacturer was not named by the FSIS.

Interestingly, just a few months ago Jennie-O Turkey Store, a Willmar, Minn. Establishment (owned by Hormel), recalled 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products. At the time 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, Illincarois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin who also have been diagnosed with Salmonella Hadar infection.

Well, Monday is just around the corner.

  • Art Davis

    “Yet, the name of the manufacturer was not named by the FSIS – although Cargill was on the lips of many in Milwaukee.”
    Would it not be appropriate to await some official finding prior to casting aspersions on any particular company? “On the lips of many” fits more as an “English tabloid” comment than a statement from a nationally known attorney whose comments are generally based on facts.

  • Jill

    Last I checked Hormel owns Jennie-O, not Cargill.

  • Jill, I screwed up – its Hormel.

  • Art, you are right, I screwed up – just frustrated by the lack of information. I have corrected it.

  • Janet Riley

    You’ve still got Cargill owning Jennie O in the last paragraph.

  • Minkpuppy

    Cargill owns the Honeysuckle White brand and may have sold turkey meat to Jennie-O that was then used to make the ground turkey products. I won’t be the least bit surprised if both brands end up being affected.

    We use a lot of ground turkey instead of hamburger at my house so I’m starting to wonder about the GI illness my husband and I had a few months ago. At the time, we blamed it on a crappy restaraunt we made the mistake of eating at and were over it in a couple of days max. We’re healthy adults so even though we were sick, it was relatively mild. Not so sure now especially since the illnesses started back in March and the timing is right for our illnesses.