Reporting Jennifer McLogan
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Area residents are expressing concern following one of the largest meat recalls ever. Thirty six million pounds of ground turkey are being pulled off store shelves after being linked to a salmonella outbreak.
In all, 26 states — including New York — have been linked to the outbreak, which has killed at least one person.
The Moore family of Hempstead love turkey burgers, but they are among the concerned shoppers learning that meat giant Cargill, which includes its Shady Brook Farms and Honeysuckle White brands, recalled its fresh and frozen ground turkey. The affected products were sold from February to August.
“They say turkey is better for you. Right now, I’m kind of bewildered,” Brenda Moore told CBS 2′s Jennifer McLogan.
What is on the shelves now is considered safe, but one person in California has died and at least 76 people have fallen ill and the number is growing.
The Centers for Disease Control and local doctors said the strain of salmonella is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which is making treatment more difficult.
“Most people will have normal symptoms of gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, diarrhea,” Dr. Theresa Hawkins said. “It can be spread to other organ systems and to the bloodstream.”
Doctors said salmonella can be killed by cooking.
Long Beach camp counselor Ar-Rahman Buskey wasn’t taking any chances Thursday and heated his turkey burgers to 165 degrees.
“It’s very important that you cook it at a very hot temperature that way it will kill any bacteria,” Buskey said.
To avoid any cross contamination in the kitchen, experts said to make sure utensils or cutting boards used for raw turkey do not come in contact with other food.
A statement from Cargill said the company was apologetic about the outbreak.
“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,” the statement read.
Cargill said it is suspending ground turkey production at the Arkansas plant where the tainted meat originated until it can identify the source of the contamination and fix it.
The first to feel the affects of the outbreak got sick five months ago. It’s not clear why it took so long to identify the outbreak, its source and to notify the public.
Has this recall stopped you from eating turkey? Share your thoughts in the comments section…