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Consumers Can Track Thanksgiving Turkey History With New Codes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With just a week to go until Thanksgiving, it's time to buy your turkey. But this year, you can also read about your turkey's story with a tracker code.

Turkey trackers are being used for the first time on Jennie-O and Honeysuckle White turkeys.  They are subsidiaries of Hormel Foods and Cargill.

"I think it's great," said Logan Asche, of St. Louis Park. "I think it's good to be educated on where your food comes from."

The interactive online activity allows shoppers to plug in the "Meet Your Farmer" code found on fresh Honeysuckle White turkeys. You can find information about what farm and where the turkey came from, the family who raised it, and even things like their favorite family tradition.

On the Jennie-O turkeys, it's a five-digit code on the back of the turkey tag that starts with a '9.' Shoppers use that to pull up more information about the turkey online.

"It's kind of cool since farm-to-table is huge, especially with the salmonella outbreak it's probably a smart idea to do it," said Sarah Vergin, of Waconia.

The current salmonella outbreak has been linked to raw turkey, including ground turkey and turkey patty products. While a producer hasn't been identified, several shoppers said it's a reminder to know more about where all our food comes from.

For some, they don't need to know.

"It's a little too personal," Vergin laughed.

Minnesota is the No. 1 producer of turkeys. The majority of Jennie-O's turkeys are raised here and in Wisconsin.

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