Thanksgiving Food Safety Alert…!!!

Dear Extension Family:

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I wanted to send out some Food Safety Alert notices while you are all making your final travel pitch to your family and friends.

1. Don’t eat Romaine Lettuce. All brands and types of romaine lettuce is implicated until confirmed by the FDA.

  • CDC is advising that U.S. consumers NOT eat any ROMAINE Lettuce. If you are served Romaine lettuce in the restaurants, please do not eat it. If you have any type of romaine lettuce at your home, you should throw it away, even if some of it eaten away.
    This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.
    If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.
  • Please Clean, Wash, and sanitize all drawers or shelves in refrigerators where you stored romaine lettuce in your refrigerator. Throw away any sealed bags in the garbage.
  • CDC is reporting that thirty-two people have been infected with the outbreak of Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli O157:H7 from 11 States. Thirteen people have been so far hospitalized, including one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

2. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has recalled turkey products linked to a salmonella outbreak.

On November 15, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Barron, Wisconsin recalled approximately 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products. The recalled ground turkey was sold in one-pound packages labeled with establishment number “P-190”. This is found inside the USDA mark of inspection. The following products were recalled:“Jennie-O Ground Turkey 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use by” dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018.

  • “Jennie-O Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  •  “Jennie-O Ground Turkey 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
  •  “Jennie-O Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.

Please do not eat or serve recalled Jennie-O brand ground turkey products.

Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick.

With the exception of the recalled Jennie-O brand ground turkey products, CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after handling raw turkey products.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs.
  • Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs.
  • Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas.
  • Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey.
  • Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • PLEASE, DO NOT feed any raw turkey to your pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw poultry products can make your pets sick.