• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Cargill ground turkey recalled in salmonella outbreak

A salmonella outbreak that has claimed one life in California.
August 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The USDA on Wednesday announced the recall of 36 million pounds of Cargill ground turkey linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one person in Sacramento and sickened at least 76 others in 26 states.

The news comes after months of investigation to identify the source linked to illnesses nationwide. The illnesses date back to March, but authorities with the Agriculture Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a hard time pinpointing the exact source.

Cargill said Wednesday that it is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to the illnesses. The products include various brand names including Safeway, Kroger and Honeysuckle White. They all include "Est. P-963" on the label, and have use or freeze by dates of Feb. 20 through Aug. 23.

Company officials said that all ground turkey production has been suspended at the plant until the company is able to determine the source of the outbreak.

Consumers are urged to return all recalled products to stores where they were purchased for a full refund. Anyone with questions can contact Cargill's consumer relations at 1-888-812-1646.

The CDC said the strain is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which can make treatment more difficult. The agency said 38 percent of those sickened were hospitalized.

The states with the highest number sickened were Michigan and Ohio, with 10 illnesses each, while nine illnesses were reported in Texas. Illinois had seven, California six and Pennsylvania five. So far, there has only been one case in Los Angeles.

"Our case was in March, one of the earliest ones, with a child who has fully recovered," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

There are some simple things you can do to protect yourself. Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling the meat, and always cook your food properly - especially poultry. You should also get food into the refrigerator right away as the amount of salmonella bacteria doubles every 30 minutes.

Cross contamination is a real concern. Be aware of fluid running from raw meat -- called melt water, which can spread on the countertop and contaminate anything else you have nearby.

Ground turkey is considered safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees during cooking, approximately 10 minutes. For turkey patties or burgers, internal temperatures on each side should be measured.

The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these cases and federal health officials say they've made virtually no progress against it.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening to some with weakened immune systems.

Recalled Cargill Ground Turkey Products

All packages include Est. P-963 on the label. Products are listed below:

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

  • 10 lbs. Chubs of Honeysuckle White Fresh Natural Lean Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 10 lbs. Chubs of Unbranded Ground Turkey w/ Natural Flavoring 2 Pack
  • 80 oz. (5 lbs.) chubs of Riverside Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 10 lb. Chub 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 Paprikav
  • 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
  • Use 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
  • Use 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

NOTE: ONLY THE FOLLOWING USE OR FREEZE BY DATES ARE AFFECTED: 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 AND 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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments