Salmonella Outbreak: Cargill recalls Turkey Meat

36 million pounds of Turkey meat, to be exact. Some 50 million Americans get sick every year from food poisoning.

Associated Press
August 4, 2011

Meat giant Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one person in California and sickened at least 76 others.

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 CDC said the strain is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which can make treatment more difficult. The agency said 38 percent of those sickened were hospitalized.

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.

Cargill executive Willardsen said, “Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised.”

“It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products,” he said, “and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry.”

Enough Government Control and Quackery? Not yet. Meet I-dosing

Kurt Nimmo

I don’t know about you, but I am not about to run out and experiment with the latest fad, known as “i-dosing,” a gimmick that supposedly uses binaural tones to create euphoria. “Simply put, i-dosing is the attempt to achieve a perceived drug ‘high’ from listening specially-engineered sounds and music,” reports Psychology Today. “Is it a real drug? Probably not.”

But don’t tell that to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. The government agency has declared that i-dosing induces the same kind of mind-altering effects as marijuana, cocaine, peyote, and opium. “Kids are going to flock to [i-dose websites] just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places. If you want to reach these kids and save these kids and keep these kids safe, parents have to be aware, and they’ve got to take action,” said Mark Woodward, the spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

So dire is the threat, Oklahoma’s Mustang High School recently sent home letters to parents warning them of the dangers of i-dosing.

State lawmakers and Congress have yet to catch on and propose draconian laws to prevent this scourge from spreading. But give them time.

Back in 2001 a link between heavy television watching and Alzheimer’s disease was discovered, but the government is not clamoring to outlaw the idiot box or pass laws limiting the number of hours spent before it.

Real honest pharmaceutical drugs — antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — are in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. In addition, illegal drugs like cocaine and LSD end up in water, as a studies in Europe reveal. Not only are public officials not doing anything about this involuntary form of drug dosing, they are refusing to disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings.

But never mind this involuntary dosing — so-called researchers are now advocating the government put lithium in the water in order to curb suicide. “We already know that lithium can act as a powerful mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder, and treating people with lithium is also associated with lower suicide rates,” said one researcher, who added that this outrageous prospect “certainly merits more investigation.”

Eventually the corporate media will hype the exaggerated threat posed by i-dosing to the point where the government will dream up and enforce – ultimately by way of SWAT team – myriad laws that will add thousands of individuals to the state’s prison-industrial complex.