Cargill Ground Turkey Recall Issued for 36M Pounds Due to Salmonella

A massive ground turkey recall has been issued for 36 million pounds of meat produced by Cargill, after it was linked to a nationwide outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella food poisoning

The Cargill ground turkey recall was announced on August 3, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The meat is believed to be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, and is suspected of causing at least 79 illnesses across the U.S. since March 9, including at least one death.

The strain of salmonella linked to Cargill ground turkey is multi-drug resistant and nearly 40% of the victims have required hospitalization. The food poisoning outbreak was linked to Cargill’s Springdale, Arkansas plant through traceback investigations and in-plant inspections by FSIS, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Cargill internal investigations.

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The cause of the contamination is still under investigation, and Cargill announced on Wednesday that it was suspending ground turkey production at the Springdale plant until the source can be determined. The plant is one of four Cargill turkey production facilities in the U.S. Products from the other three plants are unaffected by the recall.

The Cargill ground turkey recall affects 35,709,675 pounds of ground turkey chubs, 85% ground turkey, 93% ground turkey, and ground patties, all with a use or freeze by date of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11, as well as frozen ground turkey with production dates of 2/20/11 through 8/2/11. An entire list of the recalled ground turkey products is available on the FSIS recall notice. All of the affected products will have establishment number P-963 inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Salmonella food poisoning attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe symptoms. For most healthy adults, problems associated with food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.

The FSIS reminded all consumers to cook ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which should be measured with a food thermometer and not simply inferred by cooking time.


  • DickAugust 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Cook your poultry fully, and all of this can be avoided. I guess our society is to the point that everybody pays if one person doesn't know how to cook.

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