Government Knew About Bacteria in Turkey

Oct 8, 2005
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By BILL TOMSON

Federal officials said they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. turkey plant last year, and then four times this year at stores selling the Cargill turkey, but didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others.

Cargill and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall of ground turkey from the Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., on Aug. 3. The USDA said the third-largest meat recall in history affected 36 million pounds of ground turkey.

Food-safety specialists said the delay reflected a gap in federal rules that don't treat salmonella as a poisonous contaminant, even if inspectors find antibiotic-resistant forms such as the Heidelberg strain implicated in the latest outbreak.

"We have constraints when it comes to salmonella," said Elisabeth Hagen, the USDA's top food-safety official, in an interview. She said that unlike E. coli, salmonella isn't officially considered a dangerous adulterant in meat unless that meat is directly tied to an illness or death.

A routine USDA inspection last year of the Cargill plant in Arkansas turned up three samples contaminated with salmonella Heidelberg, the agency said. A USDA spokesman said the agency brought the findings "to the attention of the facility."

Meat plants are expected to pass a performance standard that allows up to 49.9% of tests to come back positive for salmonella. A Cargill spokesman said the Arkansas plant had passed all USDA performance standards despite what he called "routine" findings of salmonella Heidelberg.

More warning signs emerged in April from tests by the federal government's National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, which examines meat samples in retail stores. Researchers from Narms found salmonella Heidelberg in a package of ground turkey that came from the Cargill Arkansas plant.

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating clusters of salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that had begun in March. Antibiotic-resistant forms of salmonella such as Heidelberg have become a serious health problem because they cannot be treated with some common antibiotics. If untreated, infections can be fatal.

Chris Braden, a CDC official in charge of monitoring food-borne illnesses, said the CDC knew about the Narms findings in retail stores, but didn't immediately act on Cargill turkey because it wasn't clear what food was making the patients ill.

Finding salmonella Heidelberg in ground turkey at a retail store doesn't mean it is behind an outbreak, even if government investigators also spot patients suffering from the same bacteria with similar genetic patterns, said the USDA's Dr. Hagen, who is undersecretary for food safety.

Salmonella is most commonly found in meat, poultry, eggs and milk.In many cases, people may eat meat contaminated with salmonella and suffer only mild discomfort. But salmonella Heidelberg is turning out to be far more dangerous, according to Dr. Braden of the CDC, who said the rate of hospitalization of patients in the recent outbreak was 38%.

As the outbreak spread, Narms inspections in May, June and July continued to find salmonella Heidelberg in turkey from the Cargill plant. The Cargill spokesman said the company was not informed about the Narms findings.

The USDA finally contacted Cargill about suspected contamination of ground turkey on July 29, department officials said. After specific illnesses were connected to turkey from the plant, Cargill idled ground-turkey output on Aug. 3. The USDA suspended all operations there Aug. 5, while inspectors look for the cause of the contamination.

In last year's salmonella-related recall of a half-billion eggs, federal officials acknowledged that poor communication between agencies played a role as USDA daily reports about sanitation problems at an Iowa farm failed to make their way to the Food and Drug Administration.

A food-safety law passed year gave the FDA authority to order recalls of many types of food for the first time, but meat and poultry remain the responsibility of the USDA, which can only request recalls, not order them.

Government agencies were "clearly too slow" in informing the public that there was a contamination in ground turkey, said Doug Powell, Kansas State University professor of food safety. He said the USDA should have contacted Cargill earlier about the contaminated store samples.

The USDA has previously tried to treat salmonella contamination as a threat, most notably when it tried and failed to shut down a Texas ground-beef plant in 1999. A federal appeals court ruled that salmonella was naturally occurring and didn't present a threat so long as people cooked their meat thoroughly.

"We didn't have the authority we needed," said Dan Glickman, the USDA secretary at the time. "We ran into a brick wall."

Caroline Smith DeWaal, food-safety director at the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest, said that antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella are treated legally the same as regular salmonella, and legal precedents tie the USDA's hands.

Dr. Hagen said the USDA was considering a petition submitted by Ms. DeWaal's group to declare antibiotic-resistant forms of salmonella as adulterants.

"It means that these are pathogens that are more dangerous and need to be addressed in a similar way that the USDA addresses E. coli," said Chris Waldrop, director of the Consumer Federation of America's Food Policy Institute.

—Alicia Mundy contributed to this article.
So the government raids raw milk producers like they have Osama Bin Laden on their farm and no one even got sick from the milk or complained but this Cargill Ink can have salmonella (that they knew about) poisoning and nothing is done until someone dies. I wonder why that is...... wait for it........

Monsanto, Cargill Ink
Joint Venture Plan


ST. LOUIS —(AP)— Monsanto Co. and Cargill Inc. have announced plans to join forces in a venture to create new products for the grain processing and animal feed markets.

The announcement last Thursday said the 50-50 venture would draw from Monsanto's capabilities in biotechnology and seeds and from Cargill's global agricultural input, processing and marketing setup.
Dun dun dun dun. The message? You can kill people with your food as long as you are with the big boys.
 

Fustercluck

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Jul 25, 2005
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#2
in before the usual bashing of Kirk with lame insults and bullshit facts, for no reason except for that fact that he's Kirk
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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#3
In this case, Kirk is likely spot on. I noticed that this tainted turkey meat had been sold a few months before word was even leaked to the media and people had already gotten sick. This is yet more proof that major food corporation have far too comfy a relationship with the USDA. Only after there was pretty much nothing left to recall, did Cargill's name even get mentioned. The meat was not contaminated with the usual salmonella that is easily killed through proper cooking technique, but a more dangerous strain (in case you were too lazy to read).

At least it wasn't thermite paint enriched salmonella...that shit will kill you. (Sorry, Kirk. I had too).
 

Neon

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#4
What does that have to do with the federal govern.... oh, you mean the bird, not the country. :action-sm
 

Party Rooster

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Apr 27, 2005
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#5
but didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others.
Yep, the globalists are enacting their drastic population reduction plan literally one person at a time.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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Ummm did you read the part where the USDA can only request a recall and not order one like the FDA... feh.
 

JonBenetRamsey

well shit the bed
Aug 30, 2005
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#8
i used to work in a flavors plant and do guys have any fucking idea how many food recalls go on that we have no idea about? i forget the website, but there is one of every food recall that goes on. there's a shit load.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#9
They both have Twitter feeds with just recalls...<br />
<br />
twitter.com/#!/fdarecalls
twitter.com/#!/USDAFoodSafety
 

Hudson

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Kirk probably blames the Jews.
I know I do.
He would if he knew what I know.
 

Ballbuster1

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Food-safety specialists said the delay reflected a gap in federal rules that don't treat salmonella as a poisonous contaminant, even if inspectors find antibiotic-resistant forms such as the Heidelberg strain implicated in the latest outbreak.
A food-safety law passed year gave the FDA authority to order recalls of many types of food for the first time, but meat and poultry remain the responsibility of the USDA, which can only request recalls, not order them.
This isn't a plot to kill people but another case of shitty legislation.
 

metallikat87

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Dec 14, 2006
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#12
i buy this ground turkey all the time and never got sick
if i read correctly it was perfectly fine as long as it was thoroughly cooked, stop eating your turkey burgers at med rare you jackasses
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#14
Oh and regarding that raw milk... again if the dairy had got a permit the state would not have called the FDA to seize that milk... again feh.
 

afternoonquil

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#15
I've been to Istanbul, it's disgusting, everyone knows it's dirty there.
 

Hoffman

Guess who's back? Hoffman's back
Sep 28, 2006
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#16
i buy this ground turkey all the time and never got sick
if i read correctly it was perfectly fine as long as it was thoroughly cooked, stop eating your turkey burgers at med rare you jackasses
This.
 

Creasy Bear

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#17
Shitty legislation... check. Cunty politicians... check. Corporate assholery... check. Dummies who don't know how to cook their food... check.

Globalist plot to poison the sheeple... not so much.