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Cargill Recalls 185,000 Pounds of Ground Turkey After USDA Test

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Cargill Inc. recalled ground turkey from a plant in Arkansas for the second time in two months, after a U.S. government review discovered a sample contaminated with salmonella.

Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a unit of Wichita, Kansas-based Cargill Meat Solutions, said yesterday in a statement it would recall 185,000 pounds of meat produced by a Springdale, Arkansas, plant in August. A Department of Agriculture test sample “yielded low levels” of the same salmonella strain that triggered the earlier Aug. 3 recall, Cargill said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are acting quickly in response to USDA’s sample testing,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey-processing business, said in the statement. “There are no known illnesses associated with this positive sample.”

The meat was distributed through retailers nationally under the Honeysuckle White, HEB and Kroger brand names, according to the statement. Michael Martin, a Cargill spokesman, said in an e-mail that the ground turkey produced at the Springdale plant is generally sold at stores “in the western two-thirds of the U.S., but could potentially be found anywhere.”

Earlier Recall

Cargill last month recalled 35.7 million pounds of ground turkey and halted production at the Springdale plant because of possible contamination from the salmonella Heidelberg bacteria. An outbreak of salmonella Heidelberg was linked to one death and 77 illnesses in 26 states as of Aug. 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The initial symptoms of salmonella poisoning are usually diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment. In some cases, hospitalization is necessary, and an infection can be deadly if not treated promptly with antibiotics. The Heidelberg strain of the bacteria is antibiotic resistant.

Turkey production at the Arkansas plant will remain suspended “until additional measures can be identified, approved by USDA, then implemented, which is similar to the process we previously employed when working with the agency,” Willardsen said.

Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc. produces food, and trades grains and other commodities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bradley Keoun in New York at bkeoun@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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