New ground turkey recall, same salmonella concern

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WICHITA, Kan. – For the second time in two months, a Kansas-based company has recalled tens of thousands of pounds of ground turkey because of possible salmonella contamination.

In an announcement on Sunday, Cargill Value Added Meats Retail said it was voluntarily recalled 185,000 pound of ground turkey that was processed at a plant in Springdale, Ark.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we are acting quickly in response to USDA’s sample testing," said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business, in a news release. "Although there are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample ….”

There about 2,400 different strains of the salmonella bacteria. The strain involved in this recall is called Heidelberg, and it is known to be resistant to antibiotics.

The same strain prompted Cargill to issue a recall of 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey in early August. That meat also was processed at the Springdale, Ark. facility. That recall followed a salmonella outbreak that federal health officials said had sickened 107 people in 31 states, including Arizona. One of those people died.

With this new recall, Cargill has suspended ground turkey production at that facility.

"We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe each serving, every time, which makes the identification and reduction of naturally and randomly occurring bacteria so challenging and often frustrating,” Willardsen said. “Our resolve to determine how best to reduce human health risks from these bacteria remains unwavering.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 50 million Americans get sick each year from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these illnesses.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening to some with weakened immune systems.

The recalled products – chubs, trays and patties -- carry the Honeysuckle White®, HEB and Kroger brand names. All packaging will have Est. P-963 on the label.

Fresh Ground Turkey Chubs
• 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh HEB Ground Turkey 85/15 (53858)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/19/2011 and 09/20/2011

• 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey (55046)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/19/2011, 09/20/2011 and 09/21/2011

Fresh ground turkey trays
• 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey (50328)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/10/2011 and 09/12/2011

• 48.0 oz. (3 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15 (53150) o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/17/2011, 09/18/2011 and 09/19/2011

• 48.0 oz. (3 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey Family Pack (53525)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/11/2011, 09/12/2011, 09/13/2011, 09/15/2011, 09/17/2011 and 09/18/2011

• 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey (55093)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/11/2011

Fresh ground turkey patties
• 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties (50920)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/18/2011

• 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15 (53147)
o Use or Freeze by Dates of 09/17/2011

Consumers who have questions can contact Cargill’s customer-relations department at 1-888-812-1646.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.