Deadly Salmonella Outbreaks Leads to Massive Cargill Ground Turkey Recall

Following one death and scores of illnesses across more than half the nation, Cargill Inc. is recalling almost 36 million pounds of ground turkey that may be implicated in an outbreak of drug resistant <"">Salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has labeled this recall a Class I—its most serious—which means that this recall represents a health hazard situation in which there exists a reasonable probability that the use of the recalled product will cause significant, adverse health consequences or death.

All of the recalled ground turkey was produced at Cargill’s Springdale, Arkansas plant and includes fresh and frozen ground turkey meat chubs; retail trays of ground turkey; and ground turkey patties sold at a number of groceries, such as Kroger, Safeway, and Giant Eagle, said In addition to one death in California, 78 other illnesses—involving 22 hospitalizations and in 26 states—have been reported and linked to this outbreak, according to Cargill officials. Details about the death have are not being released at the request of the family, noted

Cargill issued a statement
saying it was suspending production of ground turkey at the impacted plant until it locates and corrects the contamination source. “It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry,” Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business, said in a written statement to Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a subsidiary of Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, announced the recall, which includes ground turkey produced from February 20 through August 2 and all of the packages bear the code “Est. P-963″ on the label, the USDA said.

According to Cargill, some turkey was sold under Cargill’s Honeysuckle White brand; however, packages were also labeled with an array of other brands, which is adding to the outbreak’s complexity. Recalled turkey items are listed here.

Cargill said it is contacting its customers about which ground turkey products are involved and customers should return recalled ground turkey items to the place of purchase.

A recent USDA study revealed that about 10 percent of ground turkey samples it tested were positive for Salmonella and federal testing found that up to 80 percent of Salmonella bacteria are antibiotic resistant, in some cases, multi-resistant, according to

When pathogens, such as the foodborne bacteria Salmonella become resistant to antibiotic treatment, treatment options are minimized, treatment becomes significantly more difficult, and patients cannot always be brought back to their presickness state. In some cases, patients, especially in high-risk groups—the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune systems—die.

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