Salmonella causes 36 million pounds of turkey to be recalled

Turkey is supposed to be one of those “healthy meats”, right?

Not in this case.  Cargill, the nations largest meat producer, just recalled 36 million pounds of turkey from across the country because of Salmonella.  And this isn’t just a regular strain of Salmonella either.  So far one death, and 77 sick across 26 states.  And those that are sick are very sick, because the Salmonella is resistant to the usual antibiotics doctors use to treat it.

These guys don't look so good. Photo by Danny Johnston/AP

This Salmonella is resistant because a large number of farmers are injecting their animals regularly with antibiotics–29 million pounds of antibiotics per year according to the FDA.  They do this, not because the animals are sick, but because regular antibiotic injections make for larger and heavier animals….larger animals, bigger profit.

The problem the injections are causing is that when you regularly inject an animal with drugs that kill bacteria, the bacteria start to mutate and get smart.  They develop into “resistant” bacteria.  They can live despite being treated with the usual medicines that would normally kill them.  (We’ve seen this happen with MRSA-resistant staph–flesh eating bacteria in the US)

That is what happened this past week.  The Salmonella present in the meat is really a Super Salmonella–named “Salmonella Heidelberg” and is resistant to the 3 antibiotics used to treat this illness in humans.

This sends the doctors that are treating these folks to look for other, stronger antibiotics to do the job.  But sometimes they just don’t exist.

“We really believe that the responsible use of antibiotics to provide safe, nutritious, affordable foods is the appropriate way to go,” says Sherrie Rosenblatt, Vice President of the National Turkey Federation.

Her statement is an exercise in contradiction.

A recommendation from the CDC’s site on this matter states:

                “If served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.”

One obvious way to avoid this and other salmonella outbreaks is to avoid eating meat.  Another is to buy your meat from local organic producers who don’t use antibiotics.

As for me, I’ll stick with veggie burgers.


Read the entire NPR story here 

Categories: health and wellness, nutrition

Tags: , , ,

7 replies

  1. Big surprise…today in news, reported that government knew of the bacteria in turkey

    Another reason NOT to trust our government when it comes to your health (and other things)

  2. Thanks so much for your warm words and I added your blog to my favorites! Vegetables in the pics are absolutely organics that I get from local farmers nearby.

    Actually, Kaho introduced me to yoru blog as she said that my blog reminds her of yours:-) I like the way we can expand knowledge and share infos through blogs. Yes, I agree I love Kaho’s posts, too.

  3. Hi, it’s my first time to leave a comment! Your blog is full of information I am very interested in. Poor turkeys and we should be careful with food especially in summer. Not only salmonella but other bacterias love summer that gives us food poisoning, too:-(

    May I paste your blog link to my blog? I love to be a constant reader.

    • Absolutely! I see you have one of my fav’s “Chuzai Living”…I just love Kaho!
      You blog is beautiful and you pictures are so vibrant and organic. Very nice. I just subscribed, so I can read your posts.
      Thanks so much for commenting–please do it more!

  4. reason 2, 953 for becoming a vegetarian!

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