17 Million Pounds of Turkey Recalled

Cargill Turkey Products is voluntarily recalling 16.7 million pounds of ready-to-eat poultry products packaged under various brands because of possible Listeria contamination, company officials said.

The items were produced at the company’s Waco facility from May 1 to Dec. 11. They were distributed to grocery stores, restaurants and institutions throughout the United States, Iceland and Venezuela.

John O’Carroll, company president, said Thursday customers should return the items to the place of purchase for a refund.

The Springdale, Ark.-based company has contacted restaurants and delicatessens that purchased the products in bulk to remove them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are studying whether some products from the Waco facility might contain Listeria monocytogenes, associated with 25 cases of listeriosis in the United States, most of which have occurred since July.

“Even though the conclusive results [of the study] aren’t in, we just felt that we didn’t want to wait,” said company spokesman Mark Klein.

Listeriosis is a potentially fatal disease with flu-like symptoms, including high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea.

Customers may contact Cargill Turkey Products, a division of Minneapolis-based Cargill, Inc., at 888-621-2717.