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More ground turkey recalled

Mon., Sept. 12, 2011

CHICAGO – Cargill Inc. announced a second recall of ground turkey products Sunday after a test showed salmonella in a sample from the same Arkansas plant tied to a recall last month.

The second recall is much smaller than the one the company issued Aug. 3 for 36 million pounds of ground turkey. That recall followed a salmonella outbreak that federal health officials said had sickened 107 people in 31 states, killing one person.

No illnesses have been tied to the second recall, which was initiated after a sample from the company’s plant in Springdale, Ark., tested positive for salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Cargill halted production of ground turkey products at the plant Aug. 2 in anticipation of the recall announced the next day, spokesman Mike Martin said. Equipment was taken apart and steam-cleaned. Limited production resumed Aug. 10 after the USDA approved additional anti-bacterial safety measures, Martin said.

Martin said Cargill added two additional anti-bacterial washes to its processing procedures in Springdale after the first recall and instituted what he called “the most advanced sampling and monitoring system in the poultry industry.”

The problem, he said, is that salmonella is “ubiquitous” and can come from soil, water, feed or any number of other sources.

“Food safety is a top priority and taken extremely seriously at Cargill because we know that millions of people throughout the U.S. are eating food that we produce every day and we want to do everything we can to make sure that people are getting the safest food possible,” Martin said.

Ground turkey production at the Springdale plant has been suspended, but production of other products, such as whole turkeys, continues, he said.


 

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