Cargill recalls ground turkey; salmonella case confirmed in Philly

    Maybe hold off on the turkey burgers this weekend.

    Agribusiness giant Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a salmonella outbreak.

    The recall comes after a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Seventy-eight infections caused by the Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria have been reported in 26 states, with one death in California.

    This specific strain of salmonella is resistant to many commonly-prescribed antibiotics, although some have shown to be effective in combating the bacteria.

    Pennsylvania Department of Health spokesperson Brandi Hunter-Davenport said five cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, with victims ranging in age from 2 to 43.

    “There have been four cases in Allegheny County, and one case in Philadelphia,” she said, adding that the department would release more details as it received them.

    In a news conference today, CDC spokesman Chris Braden said there are likely other cases that have not yet been reported. Of those that have, he said 38 percent have been hospitalized, a rate that’s “higher than the usual rate for salmonella infections.”

    At the same conference, USDA spokesman David Goldman said this multi-million pound meat recall is one for the record books: “We believe it’s the third largest recall that we have on record.”

    And it may continue to grow.

    “We are still investigating,” said Goldman.

    Area grocer ShopRite carries one product included in the recall: Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey Burgers. Spokesperson Santina Stankevich said they have all been pulled from the store.

    “We’ve contacted any customers who’ve purchased this product who used their Price Plus Card via phone or e-mail,” she said. Any customers who purchased the pre-made patties are “urged to bring the product back to the store for a full refund.”

    Click here for a list of Cargill’s products included in the recall, and here for a partial list of retail outlets that sell them.

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