The Jennie-O Turkey Store is recalling more than 164,000 pounds of raw turkey because it may contain salmonella, adding to the growing list of recent, widespread recalls over contaminated, sickness-inducing food products.
The Minnesota-based meat producer made the announcement on Friday, alerting consumers in 17 states to look for products labeled "use or freeze by Nov. 12 or 13." The company says the contaminated products were sent to stores in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Food safety officials are asking people who have recently purchased and frozen products from the company to check labels for the number P-579 on the side of the tray. The recalled meat was packaged in October and includes Jennie-O's standard lean, ground turkey; taco-seasoned ground turkey; and Italian seasoned ground turkey. (You can check what to look for here.)
The recall follows an earlier, more limited recall issued a few days before Thanksgiving, when the Food Safety and Inspection Service said that Jennie-O Turkey Store recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey in Wisconsin.
Officials said they discovered the potentially contaminated meat while investigating a wide-ranging November salmonella outbreak. As of Dec. 18, 216 people across 38 states and the District of Columbia have reported becoming sick after eating salmonella-tainted food products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One person in California died from the illness and 84 others have been hospitalized.
“Unfortunately, Salmonella Reading may continue to be found throughout the industry until all companies take the steps necessary to eliminate it from the system,” Steve Lykken, president of Jennie-O, said in a statement Friday, noting that the company is vaccinating its turkeys and instituting new, more stringent steps to try to prevent future outbreaks.