Salmonella-Contaminated Ground Turkey

Recently Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a recall of around 18,000 tons of contaminated ground turkey after receiving reports of people becoming ill after consuming some of it. So far, one person has died due to salmonella poisoning from eating the ground turkey.  The strain of salmonella found in the turkey appears to be resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

The turkey was produced at Cargill’s Arkansas plant and distributed to 31
states.  Though the recall was not announced until Aug. 3, reports of consumers becoming ill have been coming in since early March, just a couple weeks after the turkey included in the recall was first produced.

The meat was produced between Feb. 20 and Aug. 2. It was packaged with a
number of labels, such as Honeysuckle White, Fresh Lean HEB, and Giant Eagle, and was sold both fresh and frozen. The USDA said it is safe to eat the contaminated meat as long as consumers cook the meat to at least 165 degrees and wash their hands for 20 seconds before and after handling it.

Ot seems that the federal government was aware of possible meat contamination several days before the recall was announced. According to Tom Vilsack, the USDA secretary, inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had found salmonella in samples of the meat and traced the problem to Cargill’s processing plant in Arkansas as early as the first week of June. Vilsack said the recall did not begin until August because there was not enough evidence to order one until then.

Source: CBS News, “Cargill recalls ground turkey over salmonella fears,” Ryan Jaslow, Aug. 4, 2011

Source: U.S. News and World Report, “Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Turkey Sickens More People,” Steven Reinberg, Aug. 11, 2011

Please feel free to contact me if you have a personal injury or wrongful death or products liability matter because of contaminated meat.  I’ll be happy to see if I can give you a hand.


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