NEWS Break :: 2011 Turkey Recall

August 11, 2011
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The big food news on the street as of late is the recall of over 36 million pounds of ground turkey meat released in the United States by Cargill, one of the biggest meat distributors in America. As cases of “antibiotic resistant” salmonella are turning up {including 1 fatality recorded} the nation is tuned in and hoping to learn more about how a meat recall of this scale could’ve happened now in 2011. Many questions are plaguing those not only sickened by the contaminated meat but by those who weren’t and could’ve been: What caused this? How is our government regulating our food? Why did it take months before a warning was issued by regulators? These questions are the first of many that will put stress on our government to tighten their policy on food safety.

THE LOWDOWN In March and arguably earlier, regulators traced a string of Salmonella Heidelberg in ground turkey distributed from a Cargill plant in Arkansas. Salmonella Heidelberg is one of the most common strains of Salmonella from the approximately 2500 variations existing. Sources say that traces of the contaminated meat were noted in March and maybe even earlier, but government regulators waited until recently to recall the products.

WHO’S RESONSIBLE? Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture are partially responsible. The two organizations have confirmed that they were aware of the hints of salmonella that were linked to the hospitalizations and the one fatality caused by this outbreak, but nothing was done and no report was issued. It is partially their responsibility to be testing poultry and many other meats for taintedness, however, there are restrictions and limitations to the recall process that create complications. Ideally, the functions of the USDA and the FDA would unite by a stringent government-endorsed food safety system so that proper procedures and measures are taken at all times to protect the public from sickness.

WHAT’S TO LEARN? The lesson behind this most recent recall is to always be cautious of what you’re buying. Keep current on food-related news and be alerted by recalls or talk of mass contamination and distribution. It is highly encouraged for consumers to continue to check their homes for recalled products. Check out the full recall list here.

Practice good food safety in your own home as well. Whether you are running a restaurant or you’re cooking for your family at home, practicing smart food safety is extremely important to the health of everyone involved. Contracting a foodborne illness can be just as easy at home as it is in a restaurant if you don ‘t know the proper food safety tips and knowledge.

Here are some blogs we recommend for an update on how you can stay food safe.

Learn how one company has pushed the envelope in Food Safety. (We can find their products here at Mission!)

Read our Blog on How To Combat Foodborne Illness

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