There have been at least two cases of salmonella food poisoning caused by tainted ground turkey in the U.S. so far this summer. Strangely enough, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knew where these tainted meats were coming from two weeks ago, but they did not issue a recall on the poisonous food because they “simply did not have enough information,” according to Fox News.
“There were two cases in the same state, and in two days we were able to confirm that the two cases were related to the [Cargill meat plant in Springdale, Arkansas],” said Dr. David Goldman, an assistant administrator from the USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Service.
That sounds like enough information to issue a recall to me, but Goldman claims that this really isn’t enough to warrant one.
“We need to coordinate the findings on traceback to findings at the plant,” he said. “We get information provided to us from the inspection force in the field, and we need to ensure everything has lined up in a way that convinces us.”
On July 29, 2011, the officials who had been inspecting this situation decided that a recall was necessary and on August 3, the Cargill meat plant was issued one of the biggest meat recalls ever. The recall demands that 36 million pounds of turkey – fresh and frozen – be taken off store shelves. This is all of the turkey that was produced at this plant from February 20 through August 2, 2011.
So which turkey products should you stay away from? Any package that includes the code “Est. P-963” could contain salmonella, and unfortunately, there are many brands affected by this outbreak. Some of the affected brands include Honeysuckle White, Riverside Ground Turkey, Natural Lean Ground Turkey, Fit & Active Lean Ground Turkey, Spartan Ground Turkey, and Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey Burgers.
If you do eat some of this turkey and then experience diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours, you have probably contracted salmonella, which can be life threatening for people with weakened immune systems, so be sure you cook your turkey products thoroughly and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling any raw meats.