Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Butterball Brand Ground Turkey
May 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM ET
This outbreak appears to be over. People should always handle and cook turkey safely. Get CDC’s tips to prevent foodborne illness from turkey.
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Serviceexternal icon (USDA-FSIS) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infections linked to ground turkey products produced by Butterball, LLC.
- On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC in Mount Olive, North Carolina recalledexternal icon approximately 78,164 pounds of raw ground turkey products because they may have been contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.
- Recalled ground turkey products were produced on July 7, 2018 and were shipped to institutional and retail locations nationwide.
- Products were labeled with the establishment number “EST. P-7345” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
- Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of recalled productsexternal icon.
- Institutions, restaurants, and retailers should not serve or sell recalled turkey products and should check food storage and freezers for them.
- If possible, retailers who received recalled turkey products should contact their customers to alert them of the recall.
- Consumers should check their homes for Butterball brand ground turkey labeled with the establishment number “EST. P-7345” with a sell or freeze by date of 7/26/18. Visit the USDA-FSIS website for a list of recalled productsexternal icon.
- Do not eat recalled ground turkey. Return it to the store or throw it away.
- Contact a healthcare provider if you think you got sick from eating recalled ground turkey.
- In general, consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook ground turkey safely to avoid foodborne illness. It is important to handle and prepare all ground turkey products carefully.
- As of May 7, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
- A total of 7 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund were reported from 3 states.
- Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 19, 2018 to March 16, 2019.
- One person was hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
- Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that ground turkey produced by Butterball, LLC was the likely source of this outbreak.
- On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC recalledexternal icon approximately 78,164 pounds of ground turkey products that may have been contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.
- Don’t eat raw or undercooked ground turkey.
- Cook ground turkey burgers and mixtures such as casseroles to 165°F internal temperature. Use a food thermometerexternal icon to make sure the meat has reached a safe internal temperature. You can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it.
- For turkey burgers, insert thermometer through the side of the patty until it reaches the middle.
- Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat for other items.
- Ask that ground turkey burgers and mixtures be cooked to 165°F internal temperature when ordering at a restaurant.
- Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw ground turkey—including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and water.
- Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
- The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
- In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
- Children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65 years, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
May 7, 2019
CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)external icon investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Schwarzengrund infections.
Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may have been part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives a more detailed DNA fingerprint than PFGE. WGS performed on bacteria isolated from ill people showed that they were closely related genetically. This means that ill people in this outbreak were more likely to share a common source of infection.
As of May 7, 2019, a total of 7 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund were reported from 3 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 19, 2018, to March 16, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 71, with a median age of 46. Eighty-six percent were female. One (14%) person was hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of 5 isolates from ill people and 4 isolates from turkey predicted antibiotic resistance to ampicillin (n=2), gentamicin (n=2), streptomycin (n=2), sulfisoxazole (n=9), and tetracycline (n=9). One additional clinical isolate had no resistance. Testing of 2 outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results. This resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.
Investigation of the Outbreak
Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that ground turkey produced by Butterball, LLC in Mount Olive, North Carolina was the likely source of this outbreak.
Health officials collected information about the foods ill people ate and other exposures they had in the week before they became ill. Five (71%) of 7 ill people either lived in a residence where ground turkey was served, or reported eating ground turkey at home.
Health officials in Wisconsinexternal icon collected records and unopened ground turkey from a residence where four of the ill people live. Records indicated that the turkey used at the residence was Butterball brand ground turkey.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Schwarzengrund was identified in samples of the ground turkey collected from the residence where four ill people live. These results provided more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating ground turkey products produced by Butterball, LLC.
On March 13, 2019, Butterball, LLC recalledexternal icon approximately 78,164 pounds of ground turkey products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Schwarzengrund.
As of May 7, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.
- Butterball LLC Recalls Turkey Products Due to Possible Salmonella Schwarzengrund Contaminationexternal icon
- Butterball LLC Recalls Ground Turkey Products Linked to Salmonella Infectionsexternal icon
- How to Grill Safely
- Four Steps to Food Safety
- Ground Poultry and Food Safetyexternal icon
- How to Report a Foodborne Illness
- CDC’s Food Safety Information