Food safety advocate Bill Marler, an attorney who has represented victims of the nation’s biggest food-borne illness outbreaks, said he believes the three positive samples should prompt a recall.
“Consumers have no idea what to do except not eat ground turkey,” he said.
The CDC announced this evening that a total of 77 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 26 states between March 1 and August 1, 2011. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows:AL (1), AZ (2), CA (6), GA (1), IA (1), IL (7), IN (1), KY (2), LA (1), MA (1), MI (10), MN (1), MO (2), MS (1), NC (1), NE (2), NV (1), OH (10), OK (1), OH (10), OK (1), OR (1), PA (5), SD (3), TN (2), TX (9), and WI (3). Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after March 9, 2011. Ill persons range in age from less than 1 year to 88 years old, with a median age of 23 years old. Forty-eight percent are female. Among the 58 ill persons with available information, 22 (38%) have been hospitalized. One death has been reported.
Interestingly, although the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) announced an advisory late Friday night (without naming states), FSIS also continues to keep the manufacturers name quiet. This despite the CDC announcing that cultures of four ground turkey samples purchased from four retail locations between March 7 and June 27, 2011 yielded Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak strain (i.e. match to ill people). Also, the CDC reports that preliminary information indicates that three of these products originated from a common production establishment; the fourth is still under investigation.
Well, at least we know the states where ill people are – or, were!
Yesterday, I reported incorectlly that Cargill owned Jennie-O – it is Hormel.