Salmonella Detected in Cargill Turkey Last Year

The Wall Street Journal reports today that the USDA first detected salmonella Heidelberg in Cargill's Springdale, Arkansas, turkey-processing plant last year but was restricted by its own rules from doing anything about it.

Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey after at least 77 people became ill and one person died due to the especially virulent salmonella strain.
A routine USDA inspection last year of the Cargill plant in Arkansas turned up three samples contaminated with salmonella Heidelberg, the agency said. A USDA spokesman said the agency brought the findings "to the attention of the facility."

Meat plants are expected to pass a performance standard that allows up to 49.9 percent of tests to come back positive for salmonella. A Cargill spokesman said the Arkansas plant had passed all USDA performance standards despite what he called "routine" findings of salmonella Heidelberg.
Meanwhile, the New York Times today discusses the risk of salmonella contamination in cat and dog food:
Last year, the C.D.C. reported that between 2006 and 2008, nearly 80 people, including 32 children under the age of 2, were infected with salmonella as a result of coming into contact with dry dog and cat food, marking the first time human infections were linked to dry pet food.

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