Salmonella Traced to Cargill Turkey, Recall 36 Million Pounds

(August 8, 2011)

On Wednesday, Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. – one of the largest meat producers in the U.S. – is recalling more than 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey because of a recent link to Salmonella.

The contaminated turkey has been linked to only one of the company’s four locations, and production at the Springdale, Arkansas facility has been suspended.

In a statement, Cargill turkey processing president Steve Willardsen said, “given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace.” Production of ground turkey will not resume at this plant until they can pinpoint the source and address the situation.

Since March, this bacterial strand – Salmonella Heidelberg – has led to 80 sicknesses and one death, and is difficult to treat because of its resistance to most antibiotics. The recalled products have the number P-963 on the inside of the USDA inspection mark.

Cargill’s turkey recall comes as the third largest meat recall in U.S. history, and is the biggest Class I recall ever. Class I recalls are “health hazard situations in which there is a reasonable probability that eating the food will cause health problems or death.”

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