One reported case of salmonella in Lorain County is being linked to a nationwide outbreak caused by contaminated turkey, according to officials at the Lorain County General Health District.
The exact source of the contamination is still unknown, but meat giant Cargill, based in Minnesota, voluntarily recalled 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey Wednesday evening.
The Wellington resident exhibiting symptoms of salmonella reportedly bought contaminated meat within Lorain County but was unable to identify an exact location.
According to Cargill, all of the packages recalled include the code “Est. P-963,” but packages were labeled under many different brands, including Honeysuckle White, Riverside Ground Turkey, Natural Lean Ground Turkey and Shady Brook Ground Turkey Burgers.
The recall also includes ground turkey products packaged under the HEB, Safeway, Kroger, Randall’s and Giant Eagle grocery store brands. The recall also includes some ground turkey that isn’t labeled at all and some that went to food service establishments, according to Cargill.
Employees at Giant Eagle locations were not able to comment on the outbreak, and the corporate headquarters did not return calls.
However, Sparkle Market in Grafton took the precautionary measure of removing all of itsground turkey from the shelves and quarantining it. IGA in Oberlin made the same move.
Commissioner Kenneth Pearce of the Lorain County General Health District stressed that not all turkey available from grocers is contaminated.
“This particular turkey product is not your sliced turkey in the deli,” Pearce said Thursday. “It’s ‘comminuted’ or ground-up turkey that’s been identified as the problem.”
Bacteria generally gathers on the surface of meat, but when the meat is ground up, it’s possible for it to enter the middle of the meat. If meat is improperly cooked, bacteria may remain in the middle and cause salmonella in humans.
It is still possible to eat the meat if it has been cooked to above 165 degrees, but Pearce recommends disposing of the product.
If you come in contact with the product, it is recommended that you to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Ohio is tied with Michigan for the highest reported number of sicknesses, 10. Texas has reported nine; Illinois, seven; California, six; and Pennsylvania, five.
Neither Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin nor EMH Medical Center in Elyria has encountered patients with symptoms of salmonella, according to employees.
Contact Emily Kennedy at 329-7243 or email@example.com.