Food Outlook: Contamination concerns in a variety of foods

Oftentimes we see sudden spikes in contamination and health risk warnings flooding the media, social media networks and might even say, “Air sandwich plain please…” feeling that there’s nearly nothing safe anymore. Let’s take a look at some recent recalls that actually affect N.C.

On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC in Mount Olive, North Carolina recalled approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products because they may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund. The NC based plant is 675,000-square-foot facility outside Raleigh is the largest turkey processing plant in the world, processing 17 million turkeys a year, according to Butterball. This recall stems from just one day of production.

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  • Recalled ground turkey products were produced on July 7, 2018, and were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.
  • Products are labeled with the establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
  • Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of recalled products 

There was a high-risk factor that led to the company recall and CDC reports where six people in three states have become ill; one was hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). How common is salmonella?

CDC estimates that
Salmonella causes
approximately 1.2 million
illnesses and 450 deaths
every year in the United
States. Salmonella infection
is most common in June,
July, and August.

Symptoms to look for: 

The CDC reports, “Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12-72 hours after eating contaminated food. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.”

To see what items were recalled you can do so at the USDA  The products subject to recall bear establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.

This is the third recall involving ground turkey in five months. In both November and December 2018, Jennie-O recalled packages of ground turkey for possible contamination with Salmonella Reading. Additionally, the CDC has been investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Reading linked to several types of raw turkey products. Neither investigation has been closed per any reports made available.

The Onslow Beat did attempt to get a specific list of stores and locations the turkey products went to in our state but was not successful. FSIS did not provide a list of stores or states where the turkey was sold, but the manager of public relations at Butterball, reported that the turkey was shipped to the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.


March 21, 2019, Tyson Chicken Strips products were recalled. “Tyson Foods, Inc., a Rogers, Ark. establishment, is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat chicken strip products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specific pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)”  announced in a press release.

034-2019-labels Product packages recalled.

If you have a problem with a food product, separate government agencies are responsible for protecting different segments of the food supply. If you have experienced a problem with a food product, be sure to contact the appropriate public health organization.

For Help with Meat, Poultry and Processed Egg Products:
Call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or report the complaint online.


Looking for a good lunch today and no risk of contamination, be sure to support our local Onslow Co. Crime Stoppers Annual BBQ.





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