More Ground Turkey Recalled Because of Salmonella Risk

Cargill Recalls 185,000 Pounds of Ground Turkey; Action Follows Last Month's Recall of 36 Million Pounds

By Jennifer Warner
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Sept. 12, 2011 -- About 185,000 more pounds of ground turkey have been recalled from the same Arkansas processing facility associated with last month's massive ground turkey recall.

Cargill announced the voluntary recall of about 185,000 pounds of 85% lean fresh ground turkey after products produced by the Springdale, Ark., facility tested positive for contamination with Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria.

Testing by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed low levels of the bacteria. It's the same strain of salmonella associated with the Aug. 3 recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey.

The earlier recall was the third largest meat recall in U.S. history. It was linked to at least one death and nearly 80 cases of food-borne illnesses.

"Although there are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample, it is the same Salmonella Heidelberg strain that resulted in our voluntary recall on Aug. 3, 2011," says Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill's turkey processing business, in a news release. "As a result of this latest USDA test result, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until additional measures can be identified, approved by USDA, then implemented."

What's Being Recalled Now

Ground turkey products in the current recall were sold nationwide in chubs, trays, and patties under the brands Honeysuckle White, HEB, and Kroger.

They bear the establishment number "P-963" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on Aug. 23, 25, 30, and 31 of this year.

Recalled products include:

Fresh Ground Turkey Chubs

  • 16-ounce (1-pound) chubs of Fresh HEB Ground Turkey 85/15 with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/19/2011 and 09/20/2011
  • 16-ounce (1-pound) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/19/2011, 09/20/2011 and 09/21/2011

Fresh Ground Turkey Trays

  • 19.2-ounce (1.2-pound) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/10/2011 and 09/12/2011
  • 48-ounces (3-pound) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15 with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/17/2011, 09/18/2011 and 09/19/2011
  • 48-ounce (3-pound) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey Family Pack with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/11/2011, 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/15/2011, 09/17/2011 and 09/18/2011
  • 16-ounce (1-pound) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/11/2011

Fresh Ground Turkey Patties

  • 16-ounce (1-pound) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/18/2011
  • 16-ounce (1-pound) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15 with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/17/2011

What to Do

People with recalled ground turkey products should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Eating food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, a common food-borne illness. In most cases the symptoms, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever, go away within a few days.

But in some cases salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially in people with weakened immune systems such as infants, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses.

The strain of Salmonella Heidelberg involved in the ground turkey recall is resistant to several frequently used antibiotics and may increase the risk of hospitalization.

To reduce the risk of salmonellosis and other food-borne illnesses, the CDC recommends the following steps:

  • Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw poultry.
  • Cook poultry to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees as indicated by a food thermometer.
  • Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (within one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees.)
  • Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
  • Keep raw meat, fish, and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked.

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SOURCES: News release, USDA.News release, Cargill.WebMD Health News: "36 Million Pounds of Ground Turkey Recalled." ©2011 WebMD, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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