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Drug-Resistant Salmonella Contamination Prompts New Recall of Ground Turkey

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Last month I blogged here and here about the massive recall by Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation of 36 million pounds of ground turkey potentially tainted with the deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Salmonella Heidleberg. That recall –one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history – was linked to at least one death and 111 illnesses.

Now comes word of yet another turkey recall. Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a new recall of Cargill ground turkey potentially contaminated with Salmonella Heidleberg. This time the recall is for approximately 185,000 pounds of ground turkey products.

The products subject to the recall include:

Fresh Ground Turkey Chubs

• 16 oz. (1 lb.) 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 oz. (1 lb.) 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 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/10/2011 and 09/12/2011

• 48.0 oz. (3 lb.) 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

• 48.0 oz. (3 lbs.) 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 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/11/2011

Fresh Ground Turkey Patties

• 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/18/2011

• 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15 with a Use or Freeze by Date of 09/17/2011

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number "P-963" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were produced on August 23, 24, 30 and 31 of this year.

Here’s more information from the FSIS on yesterday’s recall:

The strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in question is identical to that of an outbreak of Salmonellosis that resulted in an August 3, 2011 recall of ground turkey products. An FSIS incident investigation team collected samples at the establishment following the previous recall. Today’s recall occurred after a product sample collected on August 24 tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. The firm is recalling product from August 30 based on pending positive match samples. The products subject to recall are derived from bone-in parts.

These products were distributed at the retail level nationwide. Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation requests that consumers who may have purchased these products return them to the point-of-purchase. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website at www.fsis.usda.gov/FSIS_Recalls/Open_Federal_Cases/index.asp.

To prevent salmonellosis and other foodborne illnesses, wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry, and cook poultry-including ground turkey-to 165° F, as determined with a food thermometer. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, affected state public health partners, and the company on the investigation. If you have symptoms, consult a health care provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections can be life-threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 6 to 72 hours. Additional symptoms may be chills, headache, nausea and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.