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Cargill Expands Turkey Product Recall

by 5m Editor
12 September 2011, at 11:17am

US – US meat processor Cargill has launched a recall of more turkey products because of concerns of Salmonella contamination.

The company said that as a precautionary measure, Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, part of Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, has announced an immediate Class I voluntary recall of approximately 185,000 pounds of 85-per cent-lean fresh ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Arkansas plant on 23, 24, 30 and 31 August this year.

The company said that the recall was due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.

Cargill is initiating this recall as a result of one confirmed test sample taken by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) during a post-August 3 recall review of the processing facility, which yielded low levels of the same Salmonella Heidelberg strain that appears to match the strain previously associated with human illness.

Cargill has voluntarily suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, Arkansas, turkey processing facility until additional corrective actions, incremental to those implemented as the result of the August 3 recall, can be identified by the company and reviewed and approved by USDA.

Other turkey products produced at Springdale are not part of the recall. Cargill owns four turkey processing facilities in the US and no products from the other three are involved in the recall.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are acting quickly in response to USDA’s sample testing," said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business.

"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.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, which is similar to the process we previously employed when working with the agency."

"We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe each serving, every time, which makes the identification and reduction of naturally and randomly occurring bacteria so challenging and often frustrating. Our resolve to determine how best to reduce human health risks from these bacteria remains unwavering," concluded Willardsen.

Salmonella is a common bacteria with approximately 2,400 different strains, the vast majority not harmful to humans. Salmonella is commonly found in plants, animals, water, soil and humans. "We all need to remember bacteria is everywhere, and we must properly handle and prepare fresh foods wherever they are served," explained Willardsen. "USDA food safety guidelines for safely handling and preparing food can be found on the USDA Internet website and serve as helpful food safety reminders."

Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground turkey products are affected by this recall.