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Cargill Recalls 36 Million Pounds of Ground Turkey Possibly Contaminated with Salmonella

By Rhonda Miller | Published 03 Aug 2011 11:05pm | comments
Jan Walker, owner of an Ocean Springs health food store, buys ground turkey from a supplier who hand cleans the turkeys and tests every batch for salmonella every day

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the Cargill meat processing company is voluntarily recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey that may be contaminated with salmonella. An outbreak of the bacteria has caused one death in California. MPB’s Rhonda Miller found one case of salmonella illness reported in Mississippi.

The USDA hotline says the salmonella alert was issued July 29:  "This public health alert was initiated after continuous medical reports, on-going investigations and testing conducted by various departments of health across the nation determined there is an association between consumption of ground turkey products and an estimated 77 illnesses in 26 states."

The USDA hotline says consumers should use safety precautions when handling poultry: "Ground turkey and ground turkey dishes should always be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit."

Cooking poultry properly is something Jan Walker knows about. She sells ground turkey at her Five Seasons Whole Foods Market in Ocean Springs.

"Sometimes you can cook your meat, but if you haven’t cleaned your cutting board, the raw juices may still be there and you may contaminate a salad." Walker said.

Walker said it’s up to the consumer to be selective when buying poultry.

"We like the ground turkey from a company we know that hand cleans their birds and they test each batch every day. They know that they are not contaminated, they do not have salmonella. I have checked with them to be sure," she said.

Most consumers don’t have such close contact with suppliers of ground turkey, but they can contact the USDA. However, officials at the USDA in Washington, D.C. and the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta told Mississippi Public Broadcasting Wednesday they could not comment on the salmonella outbreak, despite information published on their websites. In addition to the one case in Mississippi, the CDC website lists one case each in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

 

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Jan Walker, owner of an Ocean Springs health food store, buys ground turkey from a supplier who hand cleans the turkeys and tests every batch for salmonella every day


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