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36 Million Pounds of Ground Turkey Recalled – Linked to Drug Resistant Salmonella Illnesses

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August 4, 2011

Consumers need to check their refrigerators and freezers for ground turkey products because Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation has recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey that may carry a particularly dangerous form of Salmonella.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a Class I recall of an extensive list of ground turkey products distributed across the United States and sold at retail stores including but not limited to Aldi, Giant Eagle, HEB, Ingles, Kroger, Meijer, Stater Brothers, Walmart and WinCo. Some packages were labeled for commercial food service, not retail.

The recall follows a July 29 public health alert warning the public of cases of Salmonella Heidelberg that an investigation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health departments linked to ground turkey. Between March 1 and August 3, seventy-nine people across 26 states have contracted Salmonella Heidelberg, including one person who has died. Officials have now traced the outbreak cases backwards and, in addition to retail product and onsite plant sampling, have determined Cargill Meat Solutions ground turkey products as a source. Another production facility is still under investigation.

According to the CDC investigation, the states affected and number of known persons ill from Salmonella Heidelberg are: AL (1), AZ (2), CA (6), GA (1), IA (1), IL (7), IN (1), KY (2), LA (1), MA (1), MI (10), MN (1), MO (2), MS (1), NC (1), NE (2), NV (1), NY (2), OH (10), OK (1), OR (1), PA (5), SD (3), TN (2), TX (9), and WI (3).

Salmonella Heidelberg is particularly dangerous because it is resistant to several antibiotics.

Most people infected with Salmonella report symptoms of diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts between 4-7 days. While most people recover without hospitalization, some persons may suffer such severe diarrhea, or have the Salmonella spread from the gastrointestinal tract to other parts of the body via the bloodstream, that they require hospitalization and antibiotic treatment. The elderly, infants and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk. Salmonella infection can be fatal.

Included in the Cargill ground turkey recall are:

Ground Turkey Chubs – Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11

  • 10 lb. chubs of Honeysuckle White Fresh Natural Lean Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 10 lb. chubs of Unbranded Ground Turkey w/ Natural Flavoring 2 Pack
  • 80 oz. (5 lbs.) chubs of Riverside Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 10 lb. chubs of Natural Lean Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh Lean HEB Ground Turkey 93/7
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh HEB Ground Turkey 85/15
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Fresh Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 4-1 Pound Packages of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring Value Pack
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey
  • 48 oz. (3 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey

85% Ground Turkey – Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11

  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey Colored with Paprika
  • 19.2 oz. (1 lb. 3.2 oz.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15
  • 48.0 oz. (3 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15
  • 20 oz. (1.25 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 48.0 oz. (3 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey Family Pack
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White Seasoned Italian Style Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 20 oz. (1 lb. 4 oz.) trays of Safeway Fresh Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings * 15% Fat
    (NOTE: Sold in Texas only at Randall’s and Tom Thumb, Use or Freeze by 03/12/11 through 05/05/11)

93% Ground Turkey – Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11

  • 19.2 oz. (1.20 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey
  • 48 oz. (3.0 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey Family Pack
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Fit & Active Lean Ground Turkey 93/07
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lbs.) trays of Giant Eagle Ground Turkey Fresh & Premium Lean
  • 19.2 oz. (1 lb 3.2 oz.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh Lean 93/7
  • 20 oz. (1.25 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey

Ground Patties

  • 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties with "Use by" or "Freeze by" dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15, with "Use by" or "Freeze by" dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey Burgers with Natural Flavoring with the following "Use by" or "Freeze by" dates: 07/09/11, 07/10/11, 07/11/11, 07/15/11, 07/16/11, 07/21/11, 07/22/11, 07/24/11, 08/01/11, or 08/04/11

Frozen Ground Turkey – Production Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/2/11

  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Spartan Ground Turkey
  • 48 oz. (3 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 40 lb. Bulk Packed Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring for Food Service Use Only

Consumers who have products listed in this ground turkey recall should return the product to the place of purchase. They can call Cargill’s consumer relations department at 1-888-812-1646 with questions.

Potential cases of Salmonella Heidelberg should be reported to your local health department.

The CDC reports that about 40,000 cases of salmonellosis, infection with the bacteria Salmonella, occur every year. To find out how you can prevent food borne illness, visit FoodSafety.gov.

1 Comment

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    Paul, this is agreat public service in warning the public about the ground turkey salmonella problem in 26 states. You reall have provided facts that will help consumers prevent injury and protect their families. In the best traditions of The Injury Board you have put safety and prevention first. I am going to publicize your post to my friends across the country. I also wrote about this issue but my article can’t stand up to yours. Thanks for the good work, Here is my blog: “Salmonella Heidelberg Outbreak – should Hawaii worry?” http://honolulu.injuryboard.com/defective-and-dangerous-products/salmonella-outbreak-should-hawaii-worry.aspx?googleid=292824