Un décès et plus de 100 personnes malades sont atteintes de salmonellose liée à de la viande hachée de dinde

Translated by Albert Amgar

Au 12 août 2011, le CDC a rapporté au moins 107 cas de personnes malades à Salmonella Heidelberg associée à la consommation ou la manipulation de produits de viande hachée de dinde.

Ces produits de Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. ont été distribués chez les distributeurs au niveau national. Les opérateurs de la restauration commerciale qui pourraient avoir acheté ces produits ne devraient pas les préparer ou les servir et, soit ils les jettent ou soit ils les retournent à leurs fournisseurs. Une liste des produits rappelés, comprenant les images de l’étiquetage peuvent être trouvées en scannant le code QR avec un smartphone.

Une liste des produits rappelés est aussi disponible sur : http://bit.ly/pLJZuJ
Cargill a rappelé plus de 16 330 tonnes de produits de viande hachée de dinde
Plus de 30 produits ont été rappelés ; tous portent le numéro P-963 à l’intérieur du logo d’inspection de l’USDA.

La souche de l’éclosion est résistante à plusieurs antibiotiques
Les U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indiquent que cette résistance aux antibiotiques peut être associée à un risque accru d’hospitalisation ou un échec possible du traitement chez les personnes infectées.

Que pouvez-vous faire :
• Questionner vos fournisseurs au sujet des mesures de maîtrise des pathogènes.
• Cuire toutes les volailles à 74°C, et mesurer la température avec un thermomètre numérique sensible.
• Nettoyer et désinfecter toutes les surfaces (planches à découper, supports) entre la préparation des produits crus et des aliments prêts-à-être consommés.
• Se laver et se sécher les mains après manipulation de la viande crue. Des mains contaminées avec des aliments crus peuvent être des véhicules de contamination croisée.

Eviter la contamination croisée et cuire les produits de dinde hachée au moins à la température de 74°C pour réduire le risque de maladie.

Pour plus d’informations, contactez Ben Chapman benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu ou Doug Powell, dpowell@ksu.edu

Government knew about salmonella at Cargill; should have warned public earlier

Federal officials said in recent days that 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.

Bill Tomson of The Wall Street Journal reports 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.

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 has passed all USDA performance standards despite what he called "routine" findings of salmonella Heidelberg.

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 didn’t contact Cargill about suspected contamination of ground turkey until July 29, officials said.

I also told reporter Tomson, but it didn’t make it into the story, that Cargill and its customers – in this case Kroger – should be doing their own testing and striving for continuous reduction in salmonella levels, from farm to processing. For Cargill to say it met government standards is like Ford saying its Pinto automobiles, which had a tendency to blow up when struck from behind, met all government standards. Government standards for food is are minimum, the lowest common denominator. Consumers should demand that food folks do better, but they can’t because food safety is not marketed at retail.

Did Cargill salmonella-in-ground turkey recall come fast enough?

The massive ground turkey recall that Cargill Inc. announced this week is raising questions about whether federal food safety regulators should have moved faster to limit a nationwide salmonella outbreak.

I told Mike Hughlett and David Shaffer of Minnesota Star Tribune that, "Part of the problem is the absence of clear guidelines about when to go public."

Doug Powell, a food safety expert at Kansas State University who felt that the recall process was slow with the ground turkey, said food regulators appeared to become more conservative after a big salmonella outbreak in 2008. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration first linked it to tomatoes, only to find out later that jalapeno peppers were the most likely cause. The tomato industry cried foul after it got crushed financially.

The recall that Minnetonka-based Cargill announced late Wednesday covers 36 million pounds of ground turkey, one of the biggest U.S. meat recalls. It’s linked to a particularly virulent strain of salmonella that has infected 78 people in 26 states and led to one death.

The recall involves ground turkey produced as early as February, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had indications going back to at least July 20 that the culprit might be a Cargill plant in Arkansas.

The timing of the recall highlights a dilemma for the nation’s food regulators over when to go public with recall information. Go too late, and public health could suffer. Go too early and make a mistake, and a corporation or industry’s reputation could unduly suffer.

In Sacramento County, Calif., where a woman older than 65 died in June from the latest outbreak, the county’s health officer brought up another factor bedeviling food regulators these days: budget cutting.

Dr. Glennah Trochet said her department now responds more slowly to outbreaks, sometimes delaying investigations a week or two. Public health workers often aren’t available to interview possible victims. She suspects other agencies face the same constraints. "If you want rapid response, you need to have the resources to do rapid response," Trochet said.

This is something I hear from public health types across the country; it’s almost amazing outbreaks get tracked down at all given the fiscal mess at the state and local levels.

The salmonella outbreak linked to Cargill ground turkey began in early March. Chris Braden, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director of foodborne diseases, said on Thursday that it was a slowly building outbreak in the beginning.

After recognizing an "unusual clustering" of Salmonella Heidelberg cases, the CDC began investigating on May 23, Braden said. About the same time, routine surveillance by a federal food monitoring system found the same strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in ground turkey in stores.

The monitoring service found four positive samples, one each in April, May, June and July, Braden said. Those four samples were traced to Cargill’s Arkansas plant, he said, though he didn’t elaborate on when.

David Goldman, a public health administrator in the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, told reporters that by July 20 or 21, the agency had traced back two cases from the salmonella outbreak to Cargill’s Arkansas plant. A third traceback to the same plant was confirmed last week.

Late Friday, the USDA put out a public warning about salmonella dangers in ground turkey, without naming the suspected source. Recalls are often initiated when food regulators tell a company they suspect it’s the source of an outbreak.

Oregon mother describes child’s ordeal after being sickened by contaminated ground turkey

As Cargill scrambles to recall 36 million pounds of fresh and frozen ground turkey, and officials defend the lengthy time between the initial illnesses and public notification, Melissa Lee is focused on her 1-year-old daughter, Ruby (right, from a family photo in The Oregonian).

Lynne Terry of The Oregonian reports Melissa Lee’s husband whipped up his recipe of spicy spaghetti and meat balls one night in June, making it like he always does: with ground turkey instead of beef. Preferring leaner nutritious meat for their family, the couple switched from ground beef to turkey years ago.

But ground turkey is precisely what put their baby Ruby in the hospital for seven days in June.

Ten months old and eating meat only for a few weeks, Ruby was sickened by salmonella-tainted ground turkey. She’s the only known case in Oregon and has recovered but an elderly woman in Sacramento County, California died in the outbreak and since March perhaps thousands have been sickened across the country.

Lee, 24, will not be buying ground turkey again any time soon. She’s angry her only child was poisoned by salmonella and hopes their story will help other families avoid the nightmare of food poisoning.

Practically since birth, Ruby has been an easy baby. She’s slept through the night, isn’t fussy and rarely cries. She bursts into giggles around other people and bobs to the beat of pop and rock tunes that stream from the radio in the family’s Troutdale home.

Ruby spent seven days at the hospital, with Lee camped out in the room. Her husband, Brandon Mullen-Bagby, 25, juggling visits and his night-shift job at Home Depot.

Like the other 78 confirmed cases in the outbreak spread over 26 states, Ruby was infected with Salmonella Heidleberg. The strain is one of four that are resistant to many leading antibiotics. That’s one reason such a high proportion of people sickened in the outbreak — nearly 40 percent — have been hospitalized.

No one had any answers until two weeks ago when William Keene, senior epidemiologist at Oregon Public Health, told Lee her daughter was probably sickened by contaminated ground turkey.

She was horrified.

"They should have put a warning on the label," she says. "When you go to the grocery store and buy meat, you expect it to be good for your family."

US proposes mandatory test-and-hold for meat

The Obama administration will, according to the Wall Street Journal, unveil a proposal Tuesday to force companies to delay sending beef, pork and poultry to grocery stores while government inspectors complete tests.

The USDA, in a statement slated to be released Tuesday, said it "inspects billions of pounds of meat, poultry and processed egg products annually" and it believes that "44 of the most serious recalls between 2007 and 2009 could have been prevented" if the proposed "test and hold" rule it is unveiling Tuesday had been in place.

"We believe this will result in fewer products with dangerous pathogens reaching store shelves and dinner tables," said Elisabeth Hagen, USDA undersecretary for food safety.

Many large meat packers including Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. already hold back product while Agriculture Department inspectors perform tests for dangerous bacteria.

"While we don’t typically favor more government regulation, we believe it makes sense in this case to mandate ‘test and hold’ for the whole industry," said Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson Foods.

The tests usually take between 24 to 48 hours to conduct, but many companies won’t wait, sometimes resulting in recalls and serious illnesses.

"For Cargill, test and hold is a verification of our food safety interventions and processes," said Angie Siemens, vice president of technical services for Cargill Meat Solutions in Wichita, Kan.

The American Meat Institute, which represents most of the packing and processing industry in the U.S., said it strongly supports it.

Kudos to Cargill for showing Oprah how meat is made

The bartender was riveted. So was the waitress. My requests for a beverage
on a quiet Tuesday afternoon in Kansas City in 1998 would have to wait until
commercial. Such was the power of Oprah.

That’s Oprah Winfrey – actress cum talk show diva – who today did a segment on beef production as part of her go-vegan spiel.

The results were far more conciliatory than earlier meat outings on Oprah, and the credit goes to Cargill, who opened one of their Colorado processing plants to Oprah’s cameras and rather than resort to a corporate spokesthingy, featured a surprisingly effective Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, the plant’s general manager.

Things didn’t go so well for the meat folks in 1996.

On March 29, 1996, nine days after the U.K. officially linked bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, with a new human disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced they were expediting regulations prohibiting ruminant protein in ruminant feeds, boosting
surveillance and expanding research.

The same day, several producer groups, including the U.S. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), issued a statement supporting the moves and instituted a voluntary ban on ruminant protein in ruminant feed. Draft legislation was published in January 1997 and enacted into law later that year.

Then came Oprah. On April 16, 1996, Oprah announced during a show on food safety and mad cow disease she would stop eating hamburgers because of fears over BSE and that she was shocked after a guest said meat and bone meal made from cattle was routinely fed to other cattle to boost their meat and milk production.

The camera showed members of the studio audience gasping in surprise as vegetarian activist Howard Lyman explained how cattle parts and downer cattle (downer is the generic term used to describe cattle who can simply no longer stand) were rendered and fed to other cattle, and that BSE could make AIDS look like a common cold. The chief scientist for the U.S. National Cattleman’s Beef Association, rather than stressing the risk management actions that had been taken, was left arguing that cows were not vegetarians because they drank milk.

Today’s broadcast was different. Foodie journalist Michael Pollan wants people to know where their food comes from; Cargill obliged.

“Lisa Ling travels to Colorado, where Cargill, the biggest producer of ground beef in the world, gives her a rare inside look at how our meat is made.

“Upon arrival, the cattle are held in pens for two hours to calm them before they’re sent to be slaughtered. Each cow is then shot in the head with a bolt, which renders it insensible to pain. The cow’s artery is then cut, and about two minutes later, it dies from blood loss. After the animal’s death, the body is immediately washed, the skin is removed, and within minutes, the workers also remove the hooves, the hide and the head. The carcass is then moved to a giant cooler, where it stays for up to two days. After it’s been inspected and graded, it’s packaged, loaded on trucks and soon ends up in our local restaurants and stores.

“Nicole says she was happy to have Lisa at the plant, because she thinks people should know where their food is coming from. ‘I would not ridicule people who believe that you shouldn’t eat animals, but I would say that we are committed to doing it right. And I believe that when animals are handled with dignity and harvested carefully, that’s the natural order of things,’ says Nicole.

Whether you eat meat or not, Nicole thinks everyone who’s interested in the American food system can work together to create better results. ‘I think we’re all on the same path trying to figure out the right way to get to good health for our families and environmental sustainability and humane treatment,’ she says. ‘We’ll find a better result together, even if we have perhaps different perspectives or different beliefs.’”

The slaughterhouse portion of the video is available at:=


JBS adopts video auditing at US beef plants

In April 2009, Cargill Beef announced it had implemented a third-party video-auditing system that would operate 24 hours a day at its U.S. beef plants to enhance the company’s animal welfare protection systems. All of Cargill’s U.S. plants were expected to have the program in place by the end of 2009.

In Feb. 2010, Cargill announced its expanded remote video auditing program will monitor food-safety procedures within its 10 beef-harvest facilities in North America.

Angie Siemens, Cargill technical services vice president for food safety and quality, said,

“We’re working to eliminate the opportunity for cross-contamination. We want to have the right steps at the beginning of our process to enhance the efficacy of our intervention technologies later in the process. The major objective of the video auditing application is to design a ground-breaking program that can further reduce the E. coli and Salmonella contamination.”

Yesterday, Meatingplace.com reported that JBS USA’s beef division is installing remote video-surveillance camera systems at all of its eight beef plants to enhance food safety, product quality and animal handling.

John Ruby, head of technical services for JBS USA’s beef division, said in a news release the system helped the company improve the accuracy of its auditing within weeks of implementation. JBS uses the system to measure the performance of its workers and give them immediate feedback, ultimately helping to improve its food safety systems.

Seek and ye shall find; Cargill recalls hamburger because of E. coli O26; 3 sick in Maine and New York

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., a Wyalusing, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,500 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The product subject to recall includes:

• 42-pound cases of "GROUND BEEF FINE 90/10," containing three (3) – approximately 14 pound chubs each. These products have a "use/freeze by" date of "07/01/10," and an identifying product code of "W69032."

The products subject to recall bears the establishment number "EST. 9400" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were produced on June 11, 2010, and were shipped to distribution centers in Connecticut and Maryland for further distribution. It is important to note that the above listed products were repackaged into consumer-size packages and sold under different retail brand names. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on FSIS’ website at

FSIS and the establishment are concerned that consumers may also freeze the product before use and that some product may still be in consumers’ freezers. FSIS strongly encourages consumers to check their freezers and immediately discard any product subject to this recall.

FSIS became aware of the problem on August 5, 2010 when the agency was notified by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources of an E. coli O26 cluster of illnesses. In conjunction with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the New York State Department of Health, and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, two (2) case-patients have been identified in Maine, as well as one (1) case-patient in New York with a rare, indistinguishable PFGE pattern as determined by PFGE subtyping in PulseNet. PulseNet is a national network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Illness onset dates range from June 24, 2010, through July 16, 2010.

Cargill launches beef line with leakproof packaging

Consumers ain’t no dummies.

Cargill asked consumers what they wanted in beef packaging and they said stuff that doesn’t leak.

David Bisek, associate brand manager for Cargill said in a statement.

“Shoppers have spoken and Cargill has listened. They told us their No. 1 frustration with current fresh beef packaging is the fact that it leaked. These leaks plague consumers throughout the shopping process: they leave a mess in grocery carts, they stain car upholstery and they necessitate refrigerator clean-up during storage.”

And the cross-contamination potential is enormous.

So Cargill introduced a new Grantwood Meats line where beef is vacuum-sealed into a leakproof package with a peel-to-open tab. It is freezer-ready and has a 30-day shelf life from the packing date.

Meatingplace says the Grantwood Meats line includes muscle cuts and roasts.

What Bangladesh sweatshops can teach U.S. food producers

ASDA, Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, recently installed webcams in two apparel factories in Bangladesh to give its customers a direct, uncensored viewed into working conditions on the factory floor.

Cargill is doing the same thing to provide transparency to its animal slaughter business and improve food safety. It’s about time.

When the Los Angeles Times reported last week how a couple of large food producers were held hostage by a kid with a video camera — the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation’s largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages – I once again thought, why wouldn’t food producers take matters into their own hands?

The egg-farm footage released Wednesday was shot surreptitiously over the last two months inside Iowa facilities owned by Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Enterprises. It was taken by a Humane Society volunteer, who had landed work at four Iowa hen operations.

Among other things, the video footage showed chickens crammed into cages so crowded that the animals couldn’t move and their talons couldn’t touch the floor; chickens held in battery cages above manure pits that allegedly hadn’t been regularly cleaned; and a worker stuffing birds into a euthanizing chamber with such force that the thunk of the animals’ heads hitting the metal exterior could be heard.

Tony Wesner, executive vice president of Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Ind., said Wednesday morning that the company "doesn’t condone inhumane treatment" of its livestock. "Anyone violating our standards would be immediately terminated," Wesner said.

Then bring out your own video evidence to back up what you say. Words aren’t enough. Prove it. And if a sweatshop in Bangladesh can provide the evidence, can’t a U.S. slaughterhouse?