Valley stores pull turkey off shelves following recall
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the nation's biggest meat producers announced a recall of 36 million pounds of the ground turkey Wednesday and several Valley stores quickly took action to clear the product off of their shelves.
The recall comes after a nationwide salmonella outbreak that's made more than 70 people sick. Here in California, one person has died and five others have become ill. The only death connected to the outbreak happened in Sacramento County.
The labels and brands included in the recall vary, but all of the packages come from the Cargill Corporation and include the packaging code "Est. P963" on the label. California stores affected by the recall include Winco, Foods Co, and Food 4 Less. "I heard about it and I was 'oh no.' Then I went to look to see if they had any because that's what I buy and the shelf was clear. They didn't have any... it was all ground beef," said Winco shopper Delores Smith.
The Centers for Disease Control reports more than 70 people have become sick since March. While the exact source of the contamination hasn't been found, Cargill has voluntarily recalled 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey products processed at a facility in Springdale, Arkansas.
Meanwhile, California health officials say proper handling and cooking can prevent salmonella poisoning. "Consumers should assume that poultry products have a high likelihood of being contaminated with salmonella and they should cook it very thoroughly to 165 degrees. If you do that you shouldn't have any worries," said California Department of Public Health Spokesperson Mike Sicillia.
But news of the recall is a concern for some shoppers. Esther McGraw said no longer eats any poultry products, but still buys ground turkey for her family. "It's scary. Because you know, you're trying to provide your family and then you here about these things," said McGraw.
Without ground turkey, Smith said she'll find other dinner alternatives in the time being. "Wait it out and see what happens, because I don't do ground beef. I like my ground turkey," said Smith.
Customers who have purchased the recalled items are being advised to take them back to the store in their original packaging for a refund. Cargill does have a processing plant in Fresno but it only processes beef and isn't related to this recall.
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