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02 August 2011


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Well rats. I just bought 3 pounds of ground turkey yesterday on markdown b/c it's about to go out of date. But now I'm thinking it's super extry salmonella-y.

Alyssa Steffes

This is the kind of thing that pushes me more and more towards vegetarianism.


Crap! My cats eat ground turkey all the time!


"This is the kind of thing that pushes me more and more towards vegetarianism."

So you can get your daily E. coli dose from sprouts/lettuce/cucumbers/peppers/etc. instead?

This is the sort of thing that should push you towards finding a sustainable, safe food supply.

This is the sort of this that should push ALL of us to take control of our food supply.

This is the sort of thing that should make all of us write our elected representatives, and insist on changes - changes that reflect science, not politics.

Alyssa Steffes

By my comment that's what I meant. Not only sustainable and safe but healthier food supply.

I agree with you though, more should be done to change problems like this.


Word is now that the death was in Sacramento. Still no company named, and no recall issued.

Tina Clark

"So you can get your daily E. coli dose from sprouts/lettuce/cucumbers/peppers/etc. instead?"

Pretty much all e. coli in vegetables originates in runoff from animal farming.

Jennifer Blair

How many people need to die from Salmonella poisoning before the government decides to take action??? This is utterly outrageous! Same thing with the quality of chicken farms for raising eggs - the government has to see an exponential repeated string of instances before they even waste their time (and money they don't have) to protect consumers.

Thanks for the great informative article!

Christie Keith

Pat, that link just keeps bouncing me to the NYT front page, and a search for "Cargill" returns nothing about FDA. What is the article about?


FDA talks to Cargill


Dori Gehling

Pathetic! Like our legislators, it seems the FDA and CDC are more interested in protecting the reputations of big business than the best interests of humans or pets.


Try this one, from Bill Marler:



It's pretty close to what Eucritta posted. Here are a couple of paragraphs from the NYT article:

However, the meat processor Cargill said that it had been contacted by the Agriculture Department and asked to provide information as part of the salmonella investigation.

"We are cooperating with the agency’s ongoing investigation into the source of the illnesses," Mike Martin, a Cargill spokesman, said in an e-mail message. Food safety advocates said the outbreak was particularly alarming because it involved a strain of salmonella that is resistant to antibiotics. Salmonella illnesses can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever. Many cases do not require treatment with antibiotics, but resistance to the drugs can make severe cases more difficult to treat.

Here's the Google search I did:



It STILL comes down to a sustainable, safe food supply.


Just in: Cargill has issued recall:



Cargill's release on it:



The Cargill page is overloaded, so here's a blog which copied the product info:


Gina Spadafori

Cargill. Wow, what a surprise.

I heard a public health official carrying on today about the importance of cooking meat to ashes to kill the nasties allowed into these products by the industrial ad system. She said it had to be done as a precaution against illness all the time.

To me, this is the same as if she said we had to boil our tap water as a precaution against illness all the time.

We boil our tap water during a disaster, or if something temporarily breaks down at the municipal water-treatment plant. Otherwise, we have a system that ensures potable water for drinking and cooking.

If we had to boil our water before using as matter of course, we would be screaming about the breakdown of the public safety and regulatory system.

So why aren't we now about industrial agriculture?


"The recall primarily affects several varieties of Cargill's Honeysuckle White ground turkey that the company produced in Springdale, Ark., between Feb. 20 and this week." --Star Tribune, August 4, 2011

"We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe and we fully understand that people expect to be able to consume safe food, each serving, every time." - Cargill's ground turkey recall webpage.

It takes a week, maybe two, to get results from a salmonella culture test, assuming you are using a 3rd party offsite lab.

Karen N

Cargill is set to recall 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey because meat may be contaminated with salmonella. (Aug. 4th Wall Street Journal page A2)


Here's an interesting perspective that is mentioned in passing in any number of articles but that I found one of the more in-depth discussions of at http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/usda-criticized-for-ground-turkey-response/ :

USDA only recalls products contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella after those products have been definitively tied to illnesses.

This is because Salmonella is not classified as an "adulterant". Therefore, recalls are not mandated until someone dies or becomes ill. From another part of the article:

In May, CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) petitioned USDA to declare antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hadar, and Salmonella Typhimurium "adulterants" under federal law, making products that contain them illegal to sell.

I find this interesting. I agree that trying to classify ALL Salmonella as "adulterants" would be problematic. But focussing in on the specific strains that have been shown to pose the greatest threat to human health is certainly a defensible idea.

c weaver

I am really sad and now very upset!! I had to put my little chihuahua to sleep yesterday (8/4). I bought this turkey on Tues. 8/2 He ate some of this on Tuesday and threw it up....I had no idea about this turkey recall. I did cook it thoroughly but he only weighed 4.5 lbs. I wonder if this caused his death?

Toby Jon

Ugh..so glad I don't eat turkey (don't really like it). On the news they said that 36 mil lbs were recalled but didn't say what brands were affected, of course...

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