Nearly 80,000 pounds of Butterball ground turkey products have been recalled, following several reports of salmonella food poisoning that may be linked to tainted meat.
The Butterball ground turkey recall was announced by the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) on March 13, indicating that there is a risk of contamination with a strain of salmonella that has sickened at least six consumers across three states.
FSIS officials received the first illness report in December 2018, prompting an investigation to determine the source of contamination. Since the multi-state salmonella investigation was opened, investigators have confirmed at least five additional reports, with the most recent occurring in early February.
Through epidemiological and trace back investigations, FSIS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials were able to confirm five of the six consumers sickened either lived in a residence where ground turkey was served or reported eating ground turkey products.
Upon further investigation, officials tested the products in patient’s homes and confirmed the presence of Salmonella Schwarzengrund in Butterball products.
As a result of the findings, Butterball, LLC of Mount Olive, North Carolina issued a recall of approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products including 48 ounce packages of Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring, 48 ounce Everyday Fresh Ground Turkey, 16 ounce packages of Fresh Ground Turkey with natural flavoring, 48 ounce plastic wrapped trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85% Lean, and 48 ounce plastic wrapped trays containing “Food Lion 15% fat ground turkey with natural flavorings products.
The raw ground turkey products included in the recall were produced on July 7, 2018 and marked with the establishment number “EST.P-7345”, and were shipped across the United States to institutional and retail locations.
Although officials do not believe any of the products would be remaining on stores shelves from being packaged more than eight months ago, consumers are being asked to check their freezers and to either discard them or return them to their place of purchase.
The recall has been classified as a “Class I” recall indicating there is a reasonable probability the use or exposure to the product will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
Salmonella infections can cause mild to severe health consequences depending upon the individual. The bacteria may cause a healthy person to experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain whereas the young or elderly with weakened immune systems may face more severe consequences, including fatal infections.
Among pregnant women, salmonella poisoning may cause still births and miscarriages. Occasionally, salmonella infections may travel through the bloodstream and produce illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis, which can cause severe to potentially life threatening health consequences.