A Salmonella strain in turkey burgers that has sickened people in 10 states, including California, is antibiotic-resistant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Jennie-O Turkey Store, based in Willmar, Minn., recalled 27 tons of frozen turkey burgers April 1 that were infected with the Salmonella Hadar strain.
The outbreak strain is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals, the CDC says. Three people have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.
The 4-pound boxes of infected meat were sold only at Sam's Club Stores and have a use-by date of Dec. 23, 2011 and identifying lot codes of "32710" through "32780." They were packaged in cartons of 12 individually wrapped one-third pound patties and distributed nationwide.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Saturday. The USDA could expand the recall as it continues to investigate illnesses connected to products from the turkey-processing company.
At least 12 people have been diagnosed with the particular strain linked to the recall. The illnesses occurred between December 2010 and March 2011 in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin.
The agency recommends that people who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated turkey burgers consult their doctors. Jennie-O is asking customers to return the product to the place of purchase for a refund.