We asked readers to send us raw turkey pics so we could put them through our “chicken checker,” which shows salmonella rates at America’s poultry plants.

Here are their results. 👇

(We don’t say this often, but it’s actually good news)
Peg bought a “young” turkey at @WholeFoods in Bridgewater, NJ.

No high risk salmonella was found at the PA processing plant it came from in the past year.
Eli bought this turkey in Manhattan at a wholesaler called Baldor.

Here’s where it came from. No high risk salmonella to be found.
Ben bought a fresh turkey in Foggy Bottom, WA.

The PA plant it was processed at *also* had no high risk salmonella present in USDA’s tests.
Why bother writing a thread when all you have is ostensibly good news?

Glad you asked.
Whole turkey tends to have FAR less salmonella than ground turkey.

For example: Let’s take a look at this turkey Maria sent us.
Maria’s whole turkey came from Cargill Meat Solutions plant.

See the salmonella difference between whole (left) and ground (right) turkey?


Ground meat comes from many birds (hello cross contamination) and bits left in the grinder can taint multiple batches
Some context: Here’s what we found when we asked ProPublica employees to look up their own chicken and turkey products.

But back to Thanksgiving.

Here we have Barbara, who bought her turkey at Walmart in Camden, Delaware.

More good news: no high risk salmonella in sight!
Like Barbara, at least 45% percent of those who sent us pics had @Butterball turkeys.

They came from across the country; were bought at stores like Costco, Walmart and Target.

In the last 12 months, none of whole turkey samples at @Butterball’s Arkansas plant had salmonella.
The @USDA currently allows companies to sell salmonella-tainted meat to consumers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself.

For example:
Salmonella dies at 165F, and the only way to know for sure if your poultry is cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer.

But! Salmonella bacteria can survive for hours on your counters and kitchens, and cross contamination is a huge source of illness.
Sydney picked up her Butterball turkey at Costco in Huntsville, AL (left). And Katie got hers at a Walmart in Rapid City, SD (right).

Remember: the Butterball plant hasn’t had salmonella show up in whole turkey samples in a year.
This is really important to note:

Though the USDA is not finding a lot of high-risk salmonella in whole turkeys, chicken is an entirely different story.

If you find your poultry has high rates of Salmonella, you don’t need to throw it out. Just make sure you are taking proper precautions, like:
👉 Don't put cooked meat on the same plate it sat on raw

👉 If you touch raw meat, wash up before touching anything else

👉 Just wash your hands, counters, cutting boards, etc, a lot
Another thing to keep in mind:

If other foods come in contact with your raw meat, then they’re probably contaminated. It’s important to separate raw meat from any other food you serve!
Lastly: A lot of you have been rinsing your chicken and turkey. Well, that’s quite enough of that.

Rinsing poultry doesn’t make it cleaner, but does splash any bacteria on it all around your kitchen. It’s a major source of cross-contamination.

If you want to find out how often salmonella was found at the plant that processed your chicken or turkey, use this link. (definitely check your thanksgiving turkey!)

Thanksgiving is almost over, and chicken’s about to return to being America’s bird of choice. But we’re not finished reporting on salmonella and food safety.

Here’s how you can help:
Fill out our form to help us track salmonella through the supply chain.

We haven’t yet heard from enough people from these states especially. Help us out!
And last but not least, thank you to everyone who sent in Turkey pics! Our reporting team thanks you for your help and we all wish you a happy holiday.
Want to get more of our stories? Sign up for ProPublica’s dispatches newsletter. propublica.org/newsletters

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with ProPublica

ProPublica Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @propublica

12 Nov
1/ We mapped the spread of toxic air pollution from industrial facilities across every neighborhood in the country. We found 1,000+ hotspots of cancer-causing air.

Now, we’re trying to get word out to the people who live in those places.

*All* of them.

We need your help:
2/ Our goal is to hear from someone who lives or works in each hotspot.

We’re trying all sorts of things:
- mailers
- local news partnerships
- flyers in libraries, etc.

– but every place is different, and we could really use some help.
3/ You can help us share by:

-Printing fliers and putting them wherever you can: propub.li/flier

-Spreading the link to our callout: propublica.org/tips/pollution/

-Sending anyone you know in these places to that 👆 callout:
Read 8 tweets
3 Nov
1/ We created the most detailed map of cancer-causing industrial air pollution ever published.

It took many journalists and two years, but we found over 1,000 “hot spots.”

Here’s how to use it 👇
2/ You can type in any address, ZIP code or city.

We’re going to use “Houston” as an example.

The map tells us that the average estimated cancer risk from industrial pollution in Houston is 1/29,000.

That’s already pretty high. But in many parts of the city, it’s much higher.
3/ You can zoom and click to see where estimated risk is highest. Here, the estimated cancer risk is as high as 1/2,600.

That means for every 2,600 people living in this area, there would likely be one additional case of cancer after a lifetime of exposure.

It adds up.
Read 11 tweets
31 Oct
THREAD: What happened when @propublica staffers used our new database to look up where their raw chicken/turkey came from?

(It also shows how often high-risk strains of salmonella were found at each processing plant)

What they found isn’t for the faint of stomach.

First up...
@schwanksta, who runs the team that produced the database

Ground turkey

Purchased at:
@Wegmans in Brooklyn, NY.

High-risk salmonella:
Found in 17.5% of samples at the processing facility.

“But I made meatballs!” Ken exclaims.
@jeremykohler, reporter

Chicken breast

Purchased at:
@AldiUSA University City, MO

High-risk salmonella:
Found in 3.4% of samples at the processing facility.

Chicken was fashioned into delicious-looking chicken parm.

“Hope I don’t poison anyone,” Jeremy says.
Read 23 tweets
25 Oct
Case records and interviews with more than 50 former Liberty University students & staffers show how school discouraged, dismissed, and even blamed, students who have tried to come forward with claims of sexual assault.

In 2017, Elizabeth Axley was only a few months into her first year at Liberty when says she was raped at an off-campus Halloween party.
She immediately alerted campus police about the alleged assault and an officer took Liz to the hospital where a nurse documented 15 bruises, welts, and lacerations on her arm, face and torso.
Read 36 tweets
15 Sep
As 12-year-old Seth’s condition worsened, he and his family spent hours in the waiting room, his body quivering from the pain shooting across his lower belly. His mom asked why it was taking so long to be seen.

A nurse rolled her eyes and muttered, “COVID.”
The Florida hospital was so crowded there weren't enough chairs for the family to all sit as they waited.

And waited.
As the delta variant sweeps unvaccinated regions, hospitals are filling up and critically ill non-COVID patients have become collateral damage.

Read 12 tweets
29 Aug
As the school year begins, some parents have been forced to make hard choices in response to schools’ COVID prevention protocols (or the lack thereof).

Our reporter @NicoleFCarr was one of them.

Nicole pulled her children out of their Georgia public school and into a virtual-only charter school when she learned their local school was making masking optional.

It was not an easy decision, but Nicole felt the rule change forced her hand.
Nicole tried to keep an open mind at her kids' school's open house. Then she saw the principal, teachers, and many parents and kids unmasked in the hallways.

"When I walked out, I knew there was nothing that would make me feel safe sending my girls to school on Monday."
Read 8 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!