Cargill Meat Recall Heightens Fears Budgets Cuts Will Weaken Oversight, Threaten Public Health
In one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history, this week the food giant Cargill ordered the recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey. The recall came after at least one person died from Salmonella, and another 76 people fell ill, from turkey products traced to Cargill’s processing plant in Springdale, Arkansas. According to the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Salmonella outbreak involves a strain of the bacteria known as Salmonella Heidelberg, which is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. Although the recall was announced this week, the outbreak began in March. More than 3,000 people die a year from food poisoning in the United States, and millions more get sick. Food safety advocates say this latest outbreak shows how budget cuts have hampered the ability of federal and state health agencies to effectively protect public health. We speak with Patty Lovera, assistant director of the food safety group, Food & Water Watch. "As Congress comes back this fall...in budget-cutting mode [where] nothing is really sacred, we need to be telling them food safety inspections...are not acceptable places to find these savings," Lovera says.