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Cargill initiates voluntary ground turkey recall; public health concern key to decision; ground turkey production suspended at Arkansas plant

Information gathered since July 29 sparked decision as investigation continues by company, government agencies, to determine source

Date: 3 August 2011

Media Contact: Mike Martin, 316-291-2126

WICHITA, Kan. -- Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a business unit of Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, today announced an immediate Class I voluntary recall of approximately 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., facility from Feb. 20, 2011, through Aug. 2, 2011, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg. Cargill is initiating this recall as a result of its internal investigation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information that became available on Aug. 1, 2011, as well as an ongoing USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) investigation into multiple illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg.

Additionally, Cargill has suspended production of ground turkey products at its Springdale, Ark., turkey processing facility until it is able to determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg and take corrective actions. Other turkey products produced at Springdale are not part of the recall. Cargill owns four turkey processing facilities in the U.S. and no products from the other three are involved in the recall.

“While facts continue to be gathered, and currently there is no conclusive answer regarding the source of Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, 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. “Additionally, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until the source can be pinpointed and actions to address it are taken. 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 and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry. 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.”

“Suspending production until we can determine the source of the Salmonella Heidelberg at our Arkansas facility, and take corrective action, is the right thing to do,” stated Willardsen. “We are closely examining every aspect of our production process and have identified enhancements to our procedures in our efforts to ensure safe food. Eliminating food borne illness is always our goal.”

Salmonella is a common bacteria with approximately 2,400 different strains, the vast majority not harmful to humans. Salmonella is commonly found in plants, animals, water, soil and humans. “We all need to remember bacteria is everywhere, and we must properly handle and prepare fresh foods wherever they are served,” explained Willardsen. “USDA food safety guidelines for safely handling and preparing food can be found on the USDA Internet website and serve as helpful food safety reminders.”

Cargill is contacting its customers to make certain they know which of their ground turkey products are affected by this recall. Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of ground turkey items listed on Cargill’s website (www.cargill.com/turkey-recall) to stores where they were purchased for a full refund. A complete list of the products involved in the recall is attached. Cargill is working closely with its U.S. customers to make certain as much of the product is retrieved as possible. Consumers with questions about recalled ground turkey products may contact Cargill’s consumer relations toll free telephone number (1-888-812-1646).

For food safety inquiries, consumers may contact the USDA’s “Ask Karen” virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov (http://www.askkaren.gov/). The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

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About Cargill

Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cargill, Incorporated, an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.  Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries.  Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.  For more information, visit www.cargill.com.

Recalled Cargill Ground Turkey Products

August 3, 2011

The products involved are Ground Turkey. All packages include Est. P-963 on the label. Products are listed below:

Ground Turkey Chubs – Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 10 lbs. Chubs of Honeysuckle White Fresh Natural Lean Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 10 lbs. Chubs of Unbranded Ground Turkey w/ Natural Flavoring 2 Pack
  • 80 oz. (5 lbs.) chubs of Riverside Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 10 lb. Chub of Natural Lean Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh Lean HEB Ground Turkey 93/7
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Fresh HEB Ground Turkey 85/15
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Fresh Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 4-1 Pound Packages of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring Value Pack
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey
  • 48 oz. (3 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Fresh Ground Turkey
85% Ground Turkey - Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey Colored with Paprika
  • 19.2 oz. (1 lb. 3.2 oz.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15
  • 48.0 oz. (3 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh 85/15
  • 20 oz. (1.25 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 48.0 oz. (3 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey Family Pack
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White Seasoned Italian Style Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings
  • 20 oz. (1 lb. 4 oz.) trays of Safeway Fresh Ground Turkey with Natural Flavorings * 15% Fat
  • (NOTE: Sold in Texas only at Randall’s and Tom Thumb, Use or Freeze by 03/12/11 through 04/30/11)
93% Ground Turkey - Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 19.2 oz. (1.20 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey
  • 48 oz. (3.0 lbs.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey Family Pack
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lb.) trays of Fit & Active Lean Ground Turkey 93/07
  • 19.2 oz. (1.2 lbs.) trays of Giant Eagle Ground Turkey Fresh & Premium Lean
  • 19.2 oz. (1 lb 3.2 oz.) trays of Kroger Ground Turkey Fresh Lean 93/7
  • 20 oz. (1.25 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White 93/7 Lean Ground Turkey
Ground Patties
  • 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey Patties
    Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Kroger Ground Seasoned Turkey Patties Fresh 85/15
    Use or Freeze by Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/23/11
  • 16.0 oz. (1 lb.) trays of Shady Brook Farms Ground Turkey Burgers with Natural Flavoring

NOTE: ONLY THE FOLLOWING USE OR FREEZE BY DATES ARE AFFECTED: 07/09/11, 07/10/11, 07/11/11, 07/15/11, 07/16/11, 07/21/11, 07/22/11, 07/24/11, 08/01/11 AND 08/04/11

Frozen Ground Turkey – Production Dates of 2/20/11 through 8/2/11
  • 16 oz. (1 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring
  • 48 oz. (3 lb.) chubs of Honeysuckle White 85/15 Ground Turkey
  • 40 lb. Bulk Packed Ground Turkey with Natural Flavoring For Food Service Use Only
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