Following a feverish hunt for the cause of 77 salmonella illnesses nationwide, 36 million pounds of turkey have been recalled by meat giant Cargill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said Wednesday that Cargill is recalling both fresh and frozen ground turkey.
The meat was produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 to Aug. 2.
Research done by the Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Safety Inspection Service looked at cultures in ground turkey from four different retail locations between March 7 and June 27, finding the infectious bacteria in all of them.
Researchers used DNA "fingerprints" of the bacteria obtained from diagnostic testing to identify the illnesses in those infected. Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to many antibiotics, causing increases in hospitalization of infected individuals.
The infection has infected people in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.