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Second recall of ground turkey products

CHICAGO -- Cargill Inc. announced a voluntary second recall of ground turkey products yesterday after a test showed salmonella in a sample from the same Arkansas plant tied to a recall issued last month.

The second recall is much smaller than the one the Minnesota-based company issued Aug. 3 for 36 million pounds of ground turkey. That recall followed a salmonella outbreak that federal health officials said had sickened 107 people in 31 states, killing one person.

No illnesses have been tied to the second recall, which was initiated after a sample from the company's plant in Springdale, Ark., tested positive for salmonella, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Cargill halted production of ground turkey products at the plant Aug. 2 in anticipation of the recall announced the next day, spokesman Mike Martin said. Equipment was taken apart and steam-cleaned. Limited production resumed Aug. 10 after the USDA approved anti-bacterial safety measures, he said.

Martin said Cargill added two additional anti-bacterial washes to its processing process in Springdale after the first recall and instituted what he called "the most advanced sampling and monitoring system in the poultry industry." The problem, he said, is that salmonella is "ubiquitous" and can come from soil, water, poultry feed and any number of sources.

The challenge for Cargill and other food processors is to try to identify and eliminate the sources, reduce the amount during processing and then test for it.

The second recall covers about 185,000 pounds of ground turkey products, including trays of ground meat, patties and chubs, the USDA said. They were distributed under the Kroger, Fresh HEB and Cargill's Honeysuckle White brands.

All ground turkey made at the Springdale plant has "P-963" or "963" on the package, in a USDA seal or on the cellophane, Martin said. Consumers with the products can call 888-812-1646 for instructions on what to do, he said.

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