Meat giant Cargill is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one person in California and sickened at least 76 others.
Illnesses in the outbreak date back to March and have been reported in 26 states coast to coast.
The meat is sold under a variety of brand names and is available in Connecticut. The affected brands include ShadyBrook Farms sold at Stop and Shop, Fit and Active sold at Aldi and Price Chopper.
All of the packages recalled include the code “Est. P-963” on the label, according to Cargill.
Cargill said Wednesday that it is recalling fresh and frozen ground turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2 due to possible contamination from the strain of salmonella linked to the illnesses.
Company officials said that all ground turkey production has been suspended at the plant until the company is able to determine the source of the outbreak.
A chart on the CDC’s website shows cases have occurred every month since early March, with spikes in May and early June. The latest reported cases were in mid-July, although the CDC said some recent cases may not have been reported yet.
The CDC said the strain is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics, which can make treatment more difficult. The agency said 38 percent of those sickened were hospitalized.
Government officials say that even contaminated ground turkey is safe to eat if it is cooked to 165 degrees. But it’s also important that raw meat be handled properly before it is cooked and that people wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling the meat. Turkey and other meats should also be properly refrigerated or frozen and leftovers heated.
The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening to some with weakened immune systems.
CDC info on salmonella in ground turkey: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg/080111/index.html