PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thanksgiving is just days away. Americans are expected to consume 50 million turkeys and with the salmonella outbreak still unfolding some are concerned about making sure their holiday meal is safe. Now two large turkey producers are providing a new feature that allows people to track their turkeys to learn more about where they came from but it won’t track salmonella.
Turkey tracking is a new interactive feature being offered by Jennie-O, the nation’s second-largest turkey producer, and Honeysuckle White turkeys.
Each turkey has a packaging tag. With Honeysuckle you plug in the “Meet Your Farmer” code on their website and it tells you information about where the turkey came from.
Jennie-O turkeys have a five digit code on its tags that provide the same website interaction.
Salmonella is considered widespread in poultry. The current outbreak that started in July has been linked to raw turkeys. It’s sickened 164 people in 35 states.
While many brands and suppliers could be involved, only Jennie-O ground turkey meat produced on one day in September has been recalled.
With the Thanksgiving turkey and any other products, thoroughly cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees will kill salmonella.
In spite of all the warnings, a study from Drexel last year found that a lot of people still don’t follow recommendations among the common practices that aren’t safe.
Washing raw birds in the sink can spread dangerous bacteria and many people also say they put stuffing inside the turkey instead of baking it separately. And another common unsafe practice is to let the turkey get to room temperature.