Cargill Recalls 36 Million Pounds of Turkey amid Salmonella Outbreak

Meat producer Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of turkey after a CDC hunt for a salmonella outbreak that has killed at least one person, and left dozens other sick.

At least five people in Pennsylvania were confirmed to have been sickened by the salmonella contamination, with a total of 77 illnesses nationwide.

The company announced last night that it is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products that were produced at their Springdale, AR, plant from Feb. 20 – Aug. 2.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

A total of 77 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 26 states between March 1 and August 1, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:AL (1), AZ (2), CA (6), GA (1), IA (1), IL (7), IN (1), KY (2), LA (1), MA (1), MI (10), MN (1), MO (2), MS (1), NC (1), NE (2), NV (1), NY (2), OH (10), OK (1), OR (1), PA (5), SD (3), TN (2), TX (9), and WI (3).

Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after March 9, 2011. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 88 years old, with a median age of 23 years old. Forty-eight percent are female.  Among the 58 ill persons with available information, 22 (38%) have been hospitalized. One death has been reported.

The outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of people who became ill each day. This chart is called an epi curve.  Illnesses that occurred after July 5, 2011, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 3 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting of Salmonella Cases for more details.

More information can be found by clicking here.


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