Poultry distributor Cargill Inc. recalled 185,000 pounds of ground turkey products on Sunday after traces of salmonella were found in them. These products included chubs of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey and Kroger ground turkey products.
The traces of salmonella were found during a recall review of Cargill’s processing facility, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Products from the company are sold at many grocery stores nationwide, and several of the recalled products are sold at H-E-B, which has stopped sales of certain ground turkey products due to the recall.
“A lot of people buy these products,” said Dan Pisnerous, market manager of the meat department at Austin’s H-E-B location on East 41st Street. “As far as I know, nobody’s gotten sick.”
Cargill released a news statement to the press yesterday discussing the recalls and courses of action being taken.
“There are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample,” said Cargill president Steve Willardsen in the statement. “[However] it is the same Salmonella Heidelberg strain that resulted in our voluntary recall on Aug. 3.”
The initial recall in August involved traces of Salmonella Heidelberg, a specific strain that is resistant to many common antibiotics. According to the Center for Disease Control, between March 1 and Aug. 1 of this year, 77 people were infected with the strain, nine of those cases occurring in Texas. Ground turkey was linked to the illnesses since 49 percent of those infected mentioned eating it before noticing symptoms of poisoning.
Production of ground turkey products is suspended at the company’s Springdale, Ark. processing facility until the USDA approves corrective actions.
Springdale’s other turkey products are not being recalled, nor are products from other Cargill facilities in the U.S.
UT’s dining facilities on campus were not impacted by the recalls.
“We do not use Cargill turkey,” said Scott Meyer, associate director of food services. “So we’re not involved.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer several suggestions to poultry consumers for staying healthy, including hand washing, cooking poultry thoroughly and sending back undercooked meat at restaurants. Other tips include avoiding cross-contamination of foods and refrigerating raw and cooked poultry within two hours after purchase and after cooking.
Cargill’s news statement emphasized the importance of reducing human health risks and the company’s continuing efforts to make their products as safe as possible.
Cargill is not sure how long it will take for production of the ground turkey products to resume, said spokesman Mike Martin.
“We’re still assessing what it is we need to do to add additional measure to the facility,” Martin said. “We haven’t finalized that yet. It’s yet to be determined.”
Printed on September 13, 2011 as: Turkey recalled after salmonella scare