Salmonella Prompts Cargill Beef Recall

Salmonella Prompts Cargill Beef Recall

A subsidiary of Wayzata-based Cargill has voluntarily recalled more than 29,000 pounds of ground beef produced at a Pennsylvania factory due to possible salmonella contamination.

Cargill Beef, a business unit of Wichita, Kansas-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, announced Sunday that it has voluntarily recalled 29,339 pounds of ground beef produced in the company’'s Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, plant because of possible salmonella contamination.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’'s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Salmonella Enteritidis sickened 33 people in seven northeastern states in early June; five of the illnesses were traced to the ground beef products produced at the Pennsylvania plant, and two of the five illnesses led to hospitalization.

The beef in question was produced on May 25 and then shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut, Maine, and New York, where it was repackaged into consumer-sized packages and sold under various brand names by retailers in the northeast, according to the FSIS. The agency said the packages sold to consumers say “EST. 9400.”

Cargill said that it initiated the recall following its own investigation and after receiving information from federal health and regulatory agencies.

“Food borne illnesses are unfortunate, and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced,” John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, said in a prepared statement.

According to the FSIS, the strain of Salmonella Enteritidis involved in this specific outbreak can be treated with antibiotics. Salmonella is most often found in meat, poultry, eggs, and milk— and much of the time, those who consume meat contaminated with it experience only mild discomfort.

The Sunday recall is not Wayzata-based Cargill's first. Last August, the company recalled about 36 million pounds of ground turkey due to possible salmonella contamination in beef produced at the company's Springdale, Arkansas, plant. That outbreak prompted Cargill to create a panel of experts to review its safety measures. But about a month after the ground turkey recall, Cargill recalled another 185,000 pounds of turkey that were potentially contaminated with the same strain of salmonella.

Cargill is Minnesota's largest company based on revenue, which totaled $119.5 billion in 2011.