Jennie-O Turkey Store of Willmar, Minn., is recalling 54,690 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burgers that may have been contaminated with salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said.
As the food inspectors continue their investigation of illnesses related to the recall, more raw turkey products may be recalled.
The government is alerting consumers to take extra care when preparing all raw turkey products.
To prevent salmonellosis and other foodborne illnesses, wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry, and cook poultry – including ground turkey burgers – to 165 degrees as determined with a food thermometer.
The recall includes: 4-pound boxes of Jennie-O Turkey Store "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat." Each box contains 12 1/3-pound individually wrapped burgers. A use date of Dec. 11, 2011, and lot codes of 32710 through 32780 are printed on the side panel of each box, just above the opening tear strip.
The investigation includes 12 people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin, who also have been diagnosed with salmonella hadar infection. The illnesses occurred between December and March.
Working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health officials, the government determined that three of the patients in Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin reported eating the turkey burgers before illness onset and hospitalization.