WILLMAR, Minn. - 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 4-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.