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Salmonella Heidelberg infections rise to 119: CDC

by Bryan Salvage
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ATLANTA – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 119 persons infected with a recent outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 32 states. Based on collaborative investigative efforts of state, local and federal public health and regulatory agencies, eating ground turkey is the likely source of this outbreak.

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, this one 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 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.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.
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