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36 Million Pounds of Ground Turkey Recalled

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Wichita, KAFurther to reports of illness and death possibly due to Salmonella Heidelberg tainted turkey products, Cargill Value Added Meats Retail has announced an immediate Class I voluntary recall of approximately 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, AR, facility from February 20, 2011, through August 2, 2011.

In a statement issued August 4th, Cargill said it is initiating this recall as a result of its internal investigation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information that became available on August 1, 2011, as well as an ongoing USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg.

Additionally, Cargill has suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, AR, turkey processing facility until it is able to determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg and take corrective actions. 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.

“While facts continue to be gathered, and currently there is no conclusive answer regarding the source of Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business.

The company has also suspended ground turkey production at their Arkansas facility until the source can be pinpointed and actions to address it are taken.

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