'Positive' sample confirmed as outbreak strain

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON – The Aug. 24 sample of ground turkey taken from Cargill Meat Solutions’ Springdale, Ark., turkey processing plant by the Food Safety and Inspection Service that tested positive for a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of Sept. 14 has infected 119 people in 32 states, has been confirmed by FSIS as containing the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak strain (XbaI PFGE pattern 58/BlnI pattern 76).

FSIS lab results also indicate the isolate is resistant to ampicillin, gentamicin, streptomycin and tetracycline.

Cargill Value Added Meats Retail, a business unit of Wichita-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, announced on Sept. 11 a second recall of ground turkey of approximately 185,000 lbs. of 85-percent-lean fresh ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., facility on Aug. 23, 24, 30 and 31 as a precautionary measure, due to possible contamination from Salmonella Heidelberg.

On Aug. 3, the company initially announced an immediate Class I voluntary recall of approximately 36 million lbs. of fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the same plant from Feb. 20, 2011, through Aug. 2, that may have been contaminated with a multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.

“We continue to work with the US Department of Agriculture to identify measures that will lead to resumption of ground turkey production at Springdale, Ark.,” Mike Martin, Cargill director of communications, told MEATPOULTRY.com.
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