WICHITA, Kan. — After dozens of people in 26 states were infected by an antibiotic resistant strain of Salmonella, Cargill Meat Solutions issued a recall on 36 million pounds of ground turkey on Wednesday.
The antibiotic resistant Salmonella has infected 79 people and caused one death, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services.
The recalled products come from Cargill's Springdale, Ark. processing plant, which Cargill has shut down until the source of the Salmonella contamination can be found.
Cargill issued the recall due to an internal investigation, as well as investigations by FSIS and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FSIS noted that recalled products have the establishment number “P-963” inside the USDA mark of inspection. For a full list of recalled ground turkey products, see here.
"While facts continue to be gathered, and currently there is no conclusive answer regarding the source of Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace," said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill's turkey processing business, in a release.
"Additionally, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until the source can be pinpointed and actions to address it are taken. Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised. It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry. We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe and we fully understand that people expect to be able to consume safe food, each serving, every time."
The American Meat Institute issued a release on Wednesday assuring the safety of the U.S. turkey supply and giving consumers recommendations for the safe handling and preparation of raw meat and poultry.
"The U.S. turkey supply has an excellent safety record," said AMI Executive Vice President James H. Hodges, in a release.
"It is important to underscore statements today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that ground turkey is safe when cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit using an instant read thermometer to verify the temperature."