Recalled turkey containing salmonella detected early

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The USDA reports the company that recalled 36 million pounds of turkey last week knew the turkey had salmonella as early as last year.

The turkey, processed at an Arkansas meat plant had a strain of salmonella that can be deadly. But federal laws say tainted meat isn't considered a public health threat until it's directly linked to illness.

In this case, this meant five months of tests before Cargill announced the problem. In the meantime, the turkey killed one person and sickened 77 others before last week's recall.

"Things aren't going to change until there's pressure exerted from the top down by the government and from the bottom up from the consumers to change the way they do business," Fred Pritzker said.

The recall was one of the largest in US history.

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