Drug Resistant Salmonella Prompts Recall of 36 Million Pounds of Turkey


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Years ago when salmonella scares surfaced the mere idea of them sent waves of fear into the heart of us. But today these scares have gone a step further into drug resistant territory. The latest in a growing trend of drug resistant outbreaks is tied to ground turkey and as a result, 36 million pounds of Cargill turkey products have been recalled. The Centers for Disease Control said that Salmonella Heidelberg, as it's named, has shown resistance to multiple antibiotic treatments. Thus far, 77 are sick and 1 dead from this antibiotic resistant form of salmonella. The sickness has spread across numerous states including California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, according to the Los Angeles Times. Here's a breakdown by state.

Los Angeles Times reports:

[T]he CDC issued a statement saying that investigators had found that four cultures of ground turkey taken from four retail locations between March 7 and June 27 tested positive for this strain of salmonella. Three of the four came from the same manufacturer, according to the CDC. The fourth sample is still under investigation

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This strain's drug resistance makes it much scarier because it's harder to treat. "This once again points to the public health crisis that is being caused by the overuse of antibiotics in livestock production," said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch. The Federal Register agreed that sub therapeutic use of antibiotics actually causes such resistance.

After one person was sickened in the San Francisco area, 36 million pounds of ground turkey were recalled. According to KTVU:

The voluntary recall from Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. on fresh and frozen ground turkey, which has been linked to the Salmonella Heidelberg bacteria, affected items produced in the company's Springdale, Ark., plant, said Patrick Kennelly, chief of the Food Safety Section of the California Department of Public Health.

The CDC is identifying Salmonella Heidelberg through DNA "fingerprints" of salmonella bacteria in order to link each to the recent outbreak.

The symptoms of salmonella include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever and they usually happen between 8 and 72 hours after eating contaminated foods. But it can be extremely painful and intense. And the sickness can be life threatening for those with weak immune systems like kids, pregnant women, infants, unborn babies, and the elderly.

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More on Salmonella
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Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs Widespread on British Farms

Tags: Food Safety