Cargill Initiates Ground Turkey Recall

(NECN: Julie Loncich, Boston, Mass.) -- 36 million pounds of Cargill ground turkey feared to be linked to one death and likely made dozens of Americans sick have been pulled from store shelves.

The Centers for Disease Control reports 77 people in 26 states have been poisoned by Salmonella since March. Five months later, a USDA recall.

Health officials in California, where one person died, said the particular strain of Salmonella is especially dangerous.

"So what we found in common with these cases here in Sacramento is that they share the exact same strain of Salmonella which is called Salmonella Heidelberg," said Mike Sicillia of the California Department of Health. "There are many strains of Salmonella and this one is very dangerous because it's resistant to antibiotics."

Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions said the affected turkey products were produced in at its Springdale, Arkansas facility between February and August 2nd. In a statement, the company's president said:

"Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised. 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."

The CDC isn't advising the public to avoid ground turkey, but offers tips to make it safe to eat:

- Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees before consuming
- Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours of purchase
- Refrigerate cooked meat within two hours of cooking
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after handling any raw meat or poultry.

A complete list of the products Cargill is recalling is available here.

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