Child in Philly made sick by tainted turkey

August 5, 2011 3:36:01 PM PDT
There is now word of a case in Philadelphia linked to that nationwide salmonella scare.

Action News is told that a child fell ill. That child got sick sometime in mid-June and has since recovered.

The items affected are the 16-ounce turkey burgers, with use by dates between July 9th and August 1st.

This move comes after meat producer Cargill Inc. announced it is recalling 36-million pounds of ground turkey.

The product has been linked to a salmonella outbreak in 26 states.

One person has died and 76 others have become sick.

Illnesses in the outbreak date back to March and have been reported in 26 states coast to coast.

Cargill said Wednesday that it is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to the illnesses.

Company officials said that all ground turkey production has been suspended at the plant until the company is able to determine the source of the outbreak.

"Given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace," said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill's turkey processing business.

The Minnesota-based company said it was initiating the recall after its own internal investigation, an Agriculture Department investigation and information about the illnesses released by the CDC this week.

All of the packages recalled include the code "Est. P-963" on the label, according to Cargill. The packages were labeled with many different brands, including Cargill's Honeysuckle White.

The CDC said this week that cultures of ground turkey from four retail locations between March 7 and June 27 showed contamination with the same strain of salmonella, though those samples had not been specifically linked to the illnesses. The CDC said preliminary information showed that three of those samples were linked to the same production establishment, but it did not name that plant.

A chart on the CDC's website shows cases have occurred every month since early March, with spikes in May and early June. The latest reported cases were in mid-July, although the CDC said some recent cases may not have been reported yet.

The states with the highest number sickened were Michigan and Ohio, 10 illnesses each, while nine illnesses were reported in Texas. Illinois had seven, California six and Pennsylvania five.

The remaining states have between one and three reported illnesses linked to the outbreak, according to the CDC: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these cases and federal health officials say they've made virtually no progress against it.

Government officials say that even contaminated ground turkey is safe to eat if it is cooked to 165 degrees. But it's also important that raw meat be handled properly before it is cooked and that people wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling the meat. Turkey and other meats should also be properly refrigerated or frozen and leftovers heated.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening to some with weakened immune systems.

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Online:

CDC info on salmonella in ground turkey:

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg/080111/index.html

Information from The Associated Press was used in this article.


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