A second recall of Cargill Meat Solutions Corp’s turkey ground meat has been issued after extensive testing has found the meat to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. This has been the second recall from the company in less than six weeks, with the first recall being one of the largest meat recalls in history, affecting 36 million pounds of ground meat turkey.
One person in California died following the last outbreak and over 76 fell ill. Only 2 million of the 36 million pounds of meat was retrieved and buried in a landfill. This recall is of a much smaller proportion, affecting 185,000 pounds of ground turkey meat. The contaminated meat was produced at the company’s plant in Springdale, Arkansas between August 23 and 24 and 30 and 31.
The plant was shut down for a week and reopened on August 10th after extensive cleaning and U.S. Department of Agriculture review. Former Food and Drug Administration food safety chief David Acheson says there are two possible explanations for the continuing contaminations.
Either the problem could be the initial source of the turkeys or it is possible that the cleanup in between recalls was inadequate. He stated “Salmonella can be living in a drain or on a mop or on the walls or in an air vent, so it can recolonize.” Cargill spokesman, Mike Martin, declared that the source isn’t the same as last time, and the company hasn’t yet traced the source of the contamination.
He also claims the latest incident was based on a single positive sample taken by USDA. Martin says the recall “underscores the challenges and frustrations associated with managing naturally and randomly occurring bacteria which exist throughout our environment.” Salmonellosis occurs after consuming food contaminated with salmonella and is one of the most common bacterial food-borne illnesses.
Salmonellosis can be fatal, particularly to those with weak immune systems, such as the elderly, small children, and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. Salmonella symptoms appear within 6 to 72 hours and usually lasts four to seven days. Common side-affects includes fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that roughly 76 million people in the United States suffer food-borne illnesses yearly, 300,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die. Children under the age of 4 are sickened by food illnesses more than those in any other age group, but adults over the age of 50 are more likely to be hospitalized and have the illness become fatal.
To prevent the possibility of getting salmonellosis the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends meat be cooked at a the temperature that kills bacteria, 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The products subject to recall today bear the establishment number “P-963″ inside the USDA mark of inspection.
To find out more about which products are subject to recall, go to United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.