By Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California stores began recalling ground turkey meat Wednesday following an outbreak of salmonella that has killed one and sickened dozens across the nation.
The fresh and frozen tainted meat has been sold in California under the brand names of Kroger, Honeysuckle White and Riverside, according to the state Department of Public Health spokesman Mike Sicilia.
The affected retailers include WinCo, Food 4 Less and Foods Co. Food 4 Less has dozens of locations across California, WinCo has at least 30 locations, mainly in inland areas, and Foods Co. has at least three locations in the Central Valley.
Food manufacturing giant Cargill announced a voluntarily nationwide recall of ground turkey products produced at the company's Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2.
At least 76 people in 26 states have been made sick from the same strain of salmonella. The only known death occurred in Sacramento County, where another illness was also reported.
Four other cases have been found in California, one each in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Riverside and San Diego counties.
State food safety chief Pat Kennelly urges Californians to check refrigerators and freezers and dispose of any tainted turkey by putting it in a tied garbage bag and washing hands thoroughly afterward.
The state is now working with Cargill and the United States Department of Agriculture to identify all distributors and isolate any other locations where tainted meat may have been sold, Kennelly said.
Illnesses in the outbreak date back to March and have been reported in 26 states coast to coast.
Federal officials say even contaminated ground turkey is safe to eat if it is cooked to 165 degrees and handled properly before cooking.