Cargill Ground Turkey Salmonella OutbreakAt least 136 people from 34 states became ill with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections and one person died after consuming Cargill ground turkey products in the summer of 2011. On August 3, Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey products. A retail distribution list for the Salmonella-contaminated ground turkey products was also released. In September ,an additional 185,000 pounds were added to the recall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health departments determined that of reported Salmonella case-patients, illnesses began on or after February 27, 2011. The last Salmonella case associated with the ground turkey outbreak occurred on September 13, 2011. One death was reported in California.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals. Among the 94 ill persons with available information, 37 (39%) were hospitalized.