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Salmonella leads to recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey

Whether a company makes automobiles, power tools, food, or any other product, manufacturers have a duty to make sure that their products are safe for consumers to use. When unsafe products make it to the marketplace and into our homes, people can be harmed and product recalls result.

A recent series of salmonella outbreaks have led to just such a recall. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Cargill, a major meat producer, is recalling approximately 36 million pounds of it turkey products.

The first illnesses in the outbreak began in March and illnesses were reported in 26 states across the country. The outbreak caused 76 people to fall ill, and it caused one person's death. At first, the source of the outbreak was unclear. However, an epidemiologist from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that some leftover turkey at a victim's house matched the strain of salmonella involved in the outbreak.

After finding that connection, investigators were able to trace the turkey products to one of Cargill's facilities. All ground turkey products from that facility that were made from February 20 to August 2 have been recalled because of the possibility of contamination. That facility produced turkey products under many different brands, but Cargill states that all of the recalled packages are marked with the code "Est. P-963."

According to the CDC, about 50 million Americans get sick from food poisoning every year, and salmonella causes the majority of these illnesses. Despite the fact that nearly 3,000 Americans die each year from food poisoning, federal health officials have made little progress in limiting foodborne illnesses.

Source: NPR.org, "Cargill Recalls 36 Million Pounds Of Ground Turkey," Aug. 4, 2011

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