Cargill talks turkey recall

10:56 PM, Aug 4, 2011   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Nearly 80 people got sick and one died after eating ground turkey meat that may have been tainted. Thirty six million pounds of ground turkey now in U.S. stores may have salmonella, contaminated at a Cargill plant in Arkansas.

Now, Minnesota-based Cargill is pulling nearly 30 of its turkey products off the shelf and, in a written statement, calls the illnesses "regrettable," adding "we are truly sorry."

Safety experts say the massive recall is a sign the U.S. needs better food inspections, since the outbreak hit 26 states over several months before health officials acted, leaving Americans at risk for disease.

"I think we really need to do more to have a better surveillance system in the United States," said food safety advocate Bill Marler.

This is one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, but local turkey farmers are not concerned, saying demand remains high. Minnesotans raise 49 million turkeys a year, the most in the nation.

"Turkey is a safe product and we have a lot of checks and balances in the system and this proves the system is working," said Steve Olson, president of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association.

The ground turkey products involved in the recall are sold under a range of different brands, but all include the code Est. P-963.


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