The CDC and USDA today issued an update on Cargill’s 36-million-pound recall of ground turkey due to salmonella contamination.
Because it takes two to three weeks for cases to be reported to the CDC, case reports continue to come in. As of Aug. 11, 107 people in 31 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. Illnesses that began after July 13 may not yet be reported.
So far, no turkey products other than the ground turkey processed at Cargill’s Arkansas facility have been found to harbor this strain.
The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has updated its list of stores that sold the contaminated turkey to consumers. While all of these products have been removed from store shelves, the CDC warns that people should check their freezers for contaminated products.
The outbreak appears to be particularly severe as this strain of salmonella is resistant to some antibiotics. It remains sensitive to other common antibiotics, but the resistance may be one reason why the hospitalization rate is unusually high in this outbreak. There’s been one death. Of the 64 ill people with available information, 25 (39%) have been hospitalized.
The Cargill recall is the third largest recall of contaminated meat in U.S. history.