More ground turkey recalled by Cargill after salmonella is found at the same plant that prompted the last measure. In the previous month, the company had to issue a recall after 107 people in 31 states got sick after eating the tainted meat, with one person dying. Now at the same Arkansas plant, testing has shown salmonella existing again in the turkey, though no illnesses have been reported yet.
The recent sample that tested positive for salmonella was taken Aug. 24, the USDA said. It was the same strain of salmonella tied to the earlier illnesses, the agency said.
Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business, said the company was once again closing the plant pending a USDA investigation.
“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 in a statement. “Our resolve to determine how best to reduce human health risks from these bacteria remains unwavering,” he added.
Spokesman Mike Martin said, after the first incident equipment was taken apart and steam-cleaned. Limited production resumed Aug. 10 after the USDA approved additional anti-bacterial safety measures. Stemming from the first incident the plant implemented two washes to its processing process in Springdale Arkansas, Martin called it, “the most advanced sampling and monitoring system in the poultry industry.”
Martin went on to say the problem with salmonella is that it is “ubiquitous” and can come from soil, water, poultry feed and any number of sources. The challenge for Cargill and other food processors is to try to identify and eliminate the sources, reduce the amount during processing and then test for it.
“Food safety is a top priority and taken extremely seriously at Cargill because we know that millions of people throughout the U.S. are eating food that we produce every day, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that people are getting the safest food possible,” Martin said.
The recall covers products made Aug. 23 and 24. Cargill also is recalling ground turkey made on Aug. 30 and 31 pending a positive match with a sample, the USDA said.