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Talkin' Tainted Turkey: Cargill Annnounces a 36-Million-Pound Recall

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It's time to check your fridge and freezer, turkey lovers: In the wake of an outbreak of salmonella in at least 26 states, resulting in dozens of illnesses and the death of one California resident, meat-maker Cargill has announced a massive recall targeting a whopping 36 million pounds of ground turkey.

The Wichita, KS-based company says you'll want to get rid of any of the meat you have from them that may be contaminated with the sometimes-fatal bacteria. The recall involves products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., facility from Feb. 20, 2011, through Aug. 2, 2011.

Cargill says they're sorry, although they point out that the source of the contamination has not been fully determined:

“While facts continue to be gathered, and currently there is no conclusive answer regarding the source of Salmonella Heidelberg contamination, given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business. “Additionally, we have suspended ground turkey production at our Arkansas facility until the source can be pinpointed and actions to address it are taken. Public health and the safety of consumers cannot be compromised. It is regrettable that people may have become ill from eating one of our ground turkey products and, for anyone who did, we are truly sorry. We go to great lengths to ensure the food we produce is safe and we fully understand that people expect to be able to consume safe food, each serving, every time.”
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Got some of that funky meat? You're due your money back. "Consumers are urged to return any opened or unopened packages of ground turkey items listed on Cargill’s website (www.cargill.com/turkey-recall) to stores where they were purchased for a full refund," explains Cargill. A full list of the affected products is available on their site.