Roughly 36 million pounds of ground turkey were recalled Wednesday after 77 cases of salmonella and a Sacramento death were linked to the tainted meat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recall of the meat from Cargill Meat Solutions. A plant in Springdale, Ark., produced the meat between February and August, the USDA said.
Cargill representatives did not return interview requests, but a statement on the company’s website said the recall was voluntary.
“Given our concern for what has happened, and our desire to do what is right for our consumers and customers, we are voluntarily removing our ground turkey products from the marketplace,” said Steve Willardsen, president of Cargill’s turkey processing business.
Packages of Honeysuckle White-brand turkey products, Kroger ground turkey and Giant Eagle ground turkey can be returned for a full refund, the company said.
FoodsCo, Food 4 Less and Winco Foods carry these products, according to the California Department of Public Health. There are two FoodsCo stores located in San Francisco.
By Tuesday, six California cases had been reported — including one each in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties, and two in Sacramento.
The strand of the bacteria, known as salmonella Heidelberg, is resistant to the most commonly prescribed antibiotics, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
The investigation is being handled by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service and the CDC. Cargill said it is also conducting its own internal investigation.
The USDA warned consumers to fully cook the meat.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.