CDC: Salmonella Found In Recalled Turkey Burgers Is Drug-Resistant

WILLMAR, Minn. (CBS/AP)  — The salmonella strain that prompted a recall of nearly 55,000 pounds of frozen raw turkey burgers last week is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said that as of April 1, 12 people ranging in age from 1 to 86 have been reported infected with the Salmonella Hadar strain.

The illnesses were reported in 10 states over the past four months, with 3 cases in Wisconsin, and 1 case each in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Washington. Three people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the recall Saturday.

Jennie-O Turkey Store said the turkey burgers were distributed nationwide, but sold only at Sam’s Club Stores.

The CDC said Monday that not all patients have been linked to the recalled meat, but at least three (in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin) reported eating Jennie-O turkey burgers before falling ill. Samples of the meat collected by public health agencies from two patients’ homes tested positive for the outbreak strain.

States have reported antibiotic resistance of the outbreak strain to several clinically useful drugs including ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin, and tetracycline.

The recall includes four-pound boxes of Jennie-O’s “All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat.” Each box contains 12 individually wrapped burgers. The packages have a use-by date of Dec. 23, 2011, and identifying lot codes of “32710” through “32780.”

The products were packaged on Nov. 23.

The company said consumers should not eat the turkey burgers, but should return them to a Sam’s Club store for a refund.

The USDA could expand the recall as it continues to investigate illnesses connected to products from the Willmar, Minn.-based turkey processing company.

(© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • upstater

    Drug resistant, but likely not heat resistant. Make sure you cook all meat, but especially poultry reasonably well

  • Robert

    At least 165*F internal temp on poultry. We’ve all heard Chef Gordon Ramsay yell about raw chicken….

    • Whitney Muse

      Saw a commercial for Turkey burgers at Carl’s restaurant, last night. Too.

  • SubjectoftheUSSA

    Wait a second…. someone fed a turkey burger to a 1 year old? Did I read that right?

    • Sal Gomes

      A “one year old” could be aged 23 months and 30 days and still be considered “one” and not necessarily an infant as I think some assume.

    • Rebecca

      Why would that be strange? You know most parents start “solids” at 4-6 months right?

    • tnmccoy

      You’re correct. Unless the author of the article is stretching the truth a bit. And somehow, I can’t envision a one year old chomping down on a big turkey burger with all the trimmings. Maybe the baby was fed small portions of meat. But, even that seems wrong on the face of it. At one, stick to the strained and chunky baby foods.

      • Bob

        A one year old can eat anything except peanut products and shellfish (for allergies).

  • Ron Mowers

    So much for “healthy” alternatives. I’ll stick to my burgers, thank you.

  • Joe Doakes

    To review:

    All bacteria dies if food is cooked through to a temperature of 185 degrees. Don’t they teach Home Economics anymore or are they too busy teaching gender sensitivity training?

    • BigJohn

      Home-Ec is such a joke today. 10 years ago they weren’t even allowed to bring raw meat into the classroom to teach with. Additionally, how could anyone even learn proper kitchen techniques if they are subject to expulsion and arrest for even having a knife on campus.

      • Hempshackle

        metabolites of bacteria containing mico-toxins may still be present in the food even after heat has killed the bacteria—so, there is still a a risk in serving contaminated foods.

    • Seenaa

      Hello Stephanie,You have a good post about probiotics. You have cited the very nctorpaime why we need probiotics. I like also your recipe. I think I’m gonna try this on weekend. I know my kids will surely love this. By the way, yogurt is also my kids favorite. Thanks for sharing.pat @digestive enzymes supplement recently posted..

  • Political Atheist

    Drug resistant? only genetically modified food would be drug resistant. But hey, the FDA doesn’t see the need to label foods and proteins as genetically modified, stating that it would “confuse” the consumer into thinking genetically MODIFIED food is different from natural foods. It’s not nice to fool mother nature and its disastrous to play God.

    • actuallyreadsbooks

      It’s not the FOOD that’s resistant, it’s the bacteria IN it.

      • Sammeyers

        And why is the salmonella drug resistant? Because the turkeys have been shot up with so many drugs and anti-biotics themselves; this is an inevitable result.

    • totheright

      PolAth., did you even read the article? lol I am guessing No. Typical liberal.

    • Jennifer Ramirez

      You’ve never heart of MRSA? Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a nasty bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics. It’s a problem in Hospitals, Locker Rooms and other places where antibiotic cleansers are used. The bacteria genetically modify THEMSELVES into a strain in order to survive.

    • jim

      The BACTERIA NOT the food is drug resistant. And because of overprescription of anti biotics there are sereral diseases and bacteria that are now drug resitant MRSA for one which is spreading throughb hospitals and care homes, there are now two types of malaria that are drug resistant.

  • JustLogic

    The bacteria is probably resistant because of all the antibiotics the pump the Turkey with to keep it alive along with all of the growth hormones. More and more bacteria will become resistant because they give these animals a broad range of antibiotics just to keep them alive it isn’t going to be in Just Turkey they do this to Cows Pigs Chicken. The only problem with cooking it to the 185 deg is this food is already cooked. Rarely would the center of the meat get over 185 deg warming frozen meat up in the microwave…

    • BigJohn

      If the food is precooked, chances are the problem came not from the turkey farms, but from the packaging facility post pasteurization/steam treating.

      Sure there may be a problem at the farm. There very well could be a problem at the facility. In the end, responsibility falls down to the CONSUMER for not doing his due diligence in preparing his foods correctly.

      About them not teaching home-ec, they weren’t even allowed to bring raw meats into the classroom to teach with at my HS 10 years ago.

      • BigJohn

        Sorry, the home-ec comment was @Joe Doakes.

      • Carol

        It comes from the animal feed. Who knows what is in the animal feed. Will the FDA please check the animal feed!! I am a research nurse, will you please hire me in the safety field?

    • Zachary Gemmill

      The frozen turkey they sell is NOT pre-cooked. I just grilled some up this weekend for bugers. Add a little onion soup mix, some Worcestershire Sauce, and it’s good stuff. But I’m not dumb enough to under-cook any poultry.

      • Pricillia

        Rachael,I’m sorry it took me a bit to reply. There are a lot of symptoms of ltguen intolerance. The most frequent is chronic fatigue. Other symptoms can include: depression, foggy brain , chronic anemia, chronic diarrhea and/or constipation, eczema, food allergies, seasonal allergies, endometriosis, and more. It is frequently a cause of infertility. People often report that eliminating grains (especially those with ltguen) from their diet resulted in an improvement and even sometimes a reversal of such things as: Parkinson’s, IBS, diverticulitis, ADD, ADHD, autism, thyroid function, and more. Personally, I tried it because I suspected it was causing my hormonal imbalance. I did not realize that I had any other symptoms until I went ltguen-free for four days. Then, I ate two pieces of bread. I do NOT recommend that. Let us just say that I was thankful my husband was home at the time. There is testing available, but it is inaccurate. In my experience, most doctors do not know about it. I also do not recommend simply following a ltguen-free diet. It works for a while, but it does not heal the gut, which is the source of the problem. I would recommend researching GAPS and the SCD diet, both of which have been reported to reverse the condition. My hope is that we will someday be able to consume small amounts of sourdough bread and other soaked grains. We’ve seen some improvement, but it takes time.

      • Laura

        Love this sample, ekoold through the code, got lost a few times, but it should be easier to follow when i can look at it in something other than notepad. I see a lot of stuff in here I’ve never touched before, like the vertex’s and half the calls to spritebatch.. I would love to see a full blown tutorial done out of this.. =) Otherwise, awesome..will have to play and see how i can use it.. maybe i can start another project I will get 90% done and drop.. =) hehe

    • JB

      This is complete speculation on your part. You have no facts to back up your broad based and irresponsible accusation.
      This is a drug resistant bacteria. Nature does this all by itself with or without any modifications. Bacteria is present EVERYWHERE!
      Furthermore, there is no evidence whether this particular bacteria was in the meat before the handlers made it into burger patties.

  • VIPERsssss

    How about don’t eat 6 month old turkey?

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  • Bweb

    Some strains of bacteria can’t be eliminated simply by cooking to 185 deg. Some are very resistant to heat.
    Grind your own turkey meat from fresh meat; a lot safer and you are dealing with 1 bird instead of a frankenstein approach using multiple turkey parts from various birds.

    • eidetic

      yeah that’s practical….

      And you won’t find bacteria that can survive 185 on a turkey. Some spores might survive that temp and theoretically find their way onto a turkey, but salmonella is not spore forming.


    Good info JennRam! The FIRST sentence in this article does say these burgers are raw. And any raw burger meat is especially susceptible because everything is mixed and ground in – including the bacteria. So cooking properly is the most important way to protect yourself.

    I work around a food processing facility and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that these little killers are mixed in somewhere along the grinding, processing or freezing lines.

    These resistant bacteria are pretty scary – I’ve had MRSA skin infections and the speed and severity in which these spread in flesh is downright unnerving.

    • Eliisabeta

      It’s not drawing them that’s slow, it gnnreatieg themA few ways to improve performance would be: * precompute shadows for static lights and objects * only compute/render shadows from lights that might be visible on the screen (for big scrolling levels) Note that some ofscreen objects/light will need to be included in the algorithm to make it work well * for each light, only cast shadows from objects which are in the light’s range * any optimization that you would do in a physics engine, to avoid testing for collision between two objects, you can do in the shadows sample, to avoid computing shadows for some light/object pairsThere are probably a few other ways to increase performance, but the purpose of the article was to describe the technique

  • Sam Vigil

    There is too much DIS-INFORMATION about antibiotic resistant bacteria.
    “The Reason” a bacteria strain becomes resistant is: because the person Didn’t take the Entire series of antibiotics. A prescription (usually 10 day supply) contains enough antibiotic to OVERKILL ALL BACTERIA. Yet when the patient feels better,(after a few days), they STOP TAKING the medicine, which leaves some surviving bacteria resistant to That Particular Antibiotic. So, the next time they’re sick, they have to get a Different Antibiotic, and so on, and so on…

    • eidetic

      Antibiotics do not overkill all bacteria. Not even close. You have more than 10 times the number of bacteria living on and in you than you have human cells in your body. If you got rid of them, you would be incredibly sick. They break down components of our diet so that we can digest them and produce vitamins and other metabolites that you need to survive.

      You should finish entire courses of antibiotics, and it does help to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistant isolates, but not because all the bacteria have died. A greater source of antibiotic resistant isolates comes from people flushing unused antibiotics down the toilet, and using “anti-biotic” everything.

  • Sam Vigil

    Just cook to 185 degrees… and ALL BACTERIA dies… (so simple)…
    SUMMATION: It’s okay to eat Dead Salmonella… Just don’t eat it when it’s alive. :-)

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  • Nico

    First of all, why would anyone eat a turkey burger? Bogus! But that’s beside the point. isn’t the salmonella bacteria supposed to be killed by heat? These turkey burgers are sold by Sam’s, aka Wal-Mart. Were do they come from, China?

  • sam vigil (nursing student)

    Ohh… By the By… When females take antibiotics, it kills their natural feminine bacterial flora… and they may get a vaginal infection AFTER taking a series of antibiotics. To help PREVENT VAGINAL INFECTION… take PRO-BIOTICS along with the antibiotic… to replace the natural flora…
    (it don’t have to be difficult, when it can be simple… :-))

    • eidetic

      It is true that antibiotics don’t discriminate between pathogenic and harmless bacteria. But it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, taking antibiotics changes the composition of your natural bacterial communities and can leave you more susceptible to subsequent infection for a short time.

      However, pro-biotics at this stage are mainly marketing hype, though there are some promising studies. Pill form pro-biotics contain mostly non-viable bacteria, and even foods where specific cultures have been added contain mostly dead bacteria after storage and handling of the products. That doesn’t mean they don’t have health benefits, but you likely aren’t repopulating lost natural flora by taking them.


    It doesn’t seem to be as simple as you state it Sam. How does this direct from the CDC quote fit into your statement abt. incomplete antibiotic prescriptions: “Although a link between antibacterial chemicals used in personal cleaning products and bacterial resistance has been shown in vitro studies”.

    Would you tell everyone then to stop using hand sanitizer? Don’t they teach this in your nursing program?

    • eidetic

      Hand sanitizer does NOT contain antibiotics. It generally contains ethyl alcohol.

      And as a Ph.D. microbiologist I would certainly advise everyone to stop using anti-bacterial soaps and the like. Not only is the antibiotic contained in most of them (triclosan) not very effective, mixing it with soap makes it many more times LESS effective. On top of that it takes many minutes of contact with it to have an effect, not the 10 or 20 seconds people generally spend washing their hands. The “foaming” action of the soap carries away much of the contaminants from your hands when you wash, the antibiotic does nothing. Most of these antibacterial household products are a total crocK.

  • Carol

    I have a Jennie O turkey roast in my freezer. I just purchased it last week! If u were me, what would u suggest I do??
    Thank you.

    • Susan

      I called the company a few months ago to complain about the blood and raw meat on the outside of the 1# frozen turkey chubs. The lady I talked to got angry and very defensive. I cooked the meat and fed it to the dog and he was fine but it looked and tasted funny to me. I have switched to fresh Honeysuckle White turkey products and they are consistently excellent. Jenny O products are inferior, IMHO.

    • Bob

      Eat it.

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