Cargill, Inc. , has recalled almost 36 million pounds of ground turkey after a salmonella-related death in California and approximately 78 other salmonella illnesses nationwide. The food poisoning outbreak has sickened people in 26 states since March.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the Class I recall, which classifies it as the highest health risk. All of the recalled products were produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant.
According to the company's list , recalled products include fresh and frozen ground turkey meat, trays of ground turkey and ground turkey patties sold at grocery stores including Kroger , Safewa y and Giant Eagle . All of the packages recalled include the code "Est. P-963" on the label, the USDA said. The packages were labeled with many different brands, including Cargill's Honeysuckle White , Riverside, Shady Brook Farms, Spartan and Kroger brand names.
The CDC estimates 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die from the disease. Older adults, infants and people with impaired immune systems are more likely to have severe salmonella illness.
Initial symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment but in some cases, hospitalization is necessary. Infections can be deadly if not treated promptly with antibiotics. The Heidelberg strain of the bacteria found in Cargill products is antibiotic resistant.
Health officials say that even contaminated turkey meat is safe to eat if it is properly cooked, which should be to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should check the temperature with a meat thermometer. Consumers should follow food safety practices when using ground turkey or any ground meat including washing hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, and cleaning all cutting boards and other surfaces after use. Turkey, as well as all meats should be properly refrigerated or frozen and leftovers should be heated before consumption.
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