Cargill recalls 36 million pounds of ground turkey

| 8/5/2011

Cargill Inc. is voluntarily recalling more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak that has killed one person and sickened at least 78 people in 26 states.

According to the company’s press release, Cargill initiated the recall on Aug. 3, “as a result of its internal investigation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information that became available on Aug. 1, 2011, as well as an ongoing USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg.”

The company has suspended the production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, AR, processing facility until investigators are able to pinpoint the source of the multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.

This is the second largest Class I recall in the U.S., which the U.S. Department of Agriculture/FSIS defines as being a “health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Cargill is urging consumers to return the packages of ground turkey – all which include Est. P-963 on the label – to the stores where they were purchased for a refund. The recall includes ground turkey with the “use or freeze by” dates of Feb. 20 to Aug. 23, 2011

Cargill spokesman Mark Klein told Land Line on Thursday, Aug. 4, that it’s still too early in the recall to know exactly how much of the 36 million pounds of recalled ground turkey has been returned so far.

 “The stores will return the product and it will go into rendering,” Klein said.