Another 185,000 pounds of ground turkey produced by Cargill has been recalled due to the risk of salmonella food poisoning.
The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced an expansion of last month’s Cargill ground turkey recall on September 11, indicating that additional meat may be contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, the same strain of food poisoning that resulted in tens of millions of pounds of ground turkey being removed from the market in August.
The recall affects a number of fresh ground turkey products sold nationwide, including Kroger and Honeysuckle White ground turkey products. A complete list of products affected by the recall is in the FSIS recall announcement. All of the affected products have an establishment number of P-963 inside the USDA mark of inspection.
The original Cargill ground turkey recall was announced on August 3, 2011, impacting 36 million pounds of meat produced at the company’s Springdale, Arkansas plant. The recall came after state and federal health inspectors tracked a nationwide salmonella outbreak to the plant’s ground turkey.
Cargill suspended ground turkey production at the Springdale plant for two weeks until the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave the facility a clean bill of health. The plant is one of four Cargill turkey production facilities in the United States. Products from the other three plants are unaffected by the recall.
The ground turkey meat now being recalled was produced on August 23, 24, 30 and 31, after the plant reopened. According to the FSIS, the strain detected in the meat in the expanded recall is identical to the strain in the early August recall. That suggests the source of contamination is likely still contaminating meat at the plant or elsewhere in the production chain.
There have been no reports of illness connected to meat recalled in the expansion. However the initial recall was linked to at least 107 illnesses, and one death. At least two food poisoning lawsuits have been filed against Cargill as a result of the sicknesses, including one filed by an Arizona man and another by the parents of an Oregon toddler.
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.