Multi-state salmonella outbreak prompts raw ground turkey health alert

Martín Bilbao
·3 min read

An multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Hadar illness has prompted a public health alert for about 211,406 pounds of raw ground turkey.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued the nationwide alert on Saturday for turkey produced by Plainville Brands LLC, a Pennsylvania establishment, between Dec. 18 and 29 in 2020.

No recall has been issued because the affected products are no longer available for purchase, according to the alert. However the FSIS is concerned consumers may still have these products in their freezers.

The FSIS recommends consumers throw away these products or return them to the place of purchase. Retail locations that receive returned product from consumers ought to dispose of the product immediately, the alert read.

Specifically, the alert affects the following raw ground turkey products, which include establishment number EST. P-244 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

  • 1-pound packages of Nature’s Promise Free from 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with use by/freeze/sell by date of Jan. 1, 3, 4, 8 and 10 on the front of the package.

  • 1-pound packages of Wegman 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with use by/freeze/sell by date of Jan. 1, 3, 4, 8 and 10 on the front of the package.

  • 3-pound packages of Wegman 94% LEAN | 6% FAT Ground Turkey with use by/freeze/sell by date of Jan. 1, 3, 4, 8 and 10 on the front of the package.

  • 1-pound packages of Plainville Farms Ground White Turkey 93% | 7% Fat with use by/freeze/sell by date of Jan. 10 on the front of the package.

The FSIS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health officials are investigating the multi-state outbreak, according to the alert. So far consumers in 12 states have been infected with Salmonella Hadar illness with onset dates ranging from Dec. 28, 2020 to March 4, 2021.

The alert did not note which states have been affected and a spokesperson did not respond to a request for clarification on Sunday.

Investigators identified one patient who consumed ground turkey produced by Plainville Brands and found an unopened package of the same turkey in his home. The unopened package tested positive for Salmonella Hadar, the alert read.

The alert notes other brands may be affected as evidence collected to date does not link all illnesses to this establishment, according to the release. Another alert will be issued if the FSIS confirms affected products from other establishments are causing the illness.

Consuming food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a common bacterial foodborne illness. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours after consumption, the alert read.

Such symptoms can last four to seven days and most people recover without treatment, according to the alert. However, in some cases severe diarrhea may require hospitalization.

Raw ground turkey, whether fresh or frozen, must be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill harmful bacteria, the alert read. Consumers should use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of their meats.