Category Archives: Recalls and Safety Announcements

Ground Turkey Recalled Over Salmonella Link

Over 36 million pounds of ground turkey is being pulled from stores — and hopefully, from consumers’ fridges and freezers too — in one of the country’s largest-ever meat recalls.

The fresh and frozen ground turkey is produced by Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation, and affected products include well-known brand names like Honeysuckle and Shady Hill Farms.

The recalled turkey has been linked to dozens of salmonella cases. At least 76 people have been sickened, and one person has died. Federal safety officials are still trying to pinpoint the exact source of the problem, although right now attention is being focused on a Cargill production plant in Arkansas, a facility that has been shut down as part of the investigation.

To learn whether any of the recalled Cargill turkey products may be hanging around in your fridge or freezer, check out this full list of products affected by the turkey recall, from the USDA. And if it turns out you’ve got them, toss them.

Although the problem seems to be limited to Cargill’s Arkansas facility, the affected products have been distributed nationwide, and the list of people who have been sickened so far includes residents of at least 25 states.

To learn more about the health and legal issues related to food poisoning outbreaks and recalls like this one, check out Nolo’s articles Food Poisoning and Foodborne Illness and Lawsuits Involving Food Poisoning.

New Crib Safety Standards Take Effect

New federal safety standards for cribs are in effect as of June 28, 2011. After dozens of high-profile crib recalls and infant injuries linked to defective crib hardware, the new crib safety rules — which include a ban on all drop-side cribs — seek to establish “a new generation of safer cribs” and provide clear guidelines for parents and caregivers.

The new federal crib requirements (detailed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission here) can be broken down into five key provisions:
1. Drop-side cribs can no longer be manufactured, sold, or re-sold in the U.S. (parents and caregivers are instructed to either look into getting an immobilizer for a drop-side crib, or to disassemble and discard any drop-side cribs they own.)
2. Mattress supports must be stronger and more durable
3. Slats must be made of stronger wood to prevent breakage.
4. Crib hardware must be more durable, including incorporation of anti-loosening devices to keep hardware from coming loose and falling off.
5. Safety testing that is more rigorous, to better establish a crib’s durability over time.

If you’re in the market for a new crib, or if you’re wondering whether a crib you already have is in line with the new federal standards, you’ve probably got plenty of questions. Hopefully, CPSC has the answers. Check out The New Crib Standard: Questions and Answers and CPSC’s Crib Information Center for more information.

Chevy Cruze Recalled After Steering Wheel Falls Off

Chevrolet is recalling over 2,000 of its popular Cruze model compact cars because of a potential problem with the steering wheel column that could result in the steering wheel literally coming off in the driver’s hands. It happened to one Cruze driver recently. Thankfully, no car accident or injuries resulted. But the single incident did initiate the recall of 2,100 model year 2011 Cruze vehicles, since once is enough when it comes to a steering wheel falling into a driver’s lap (it’s right up there with a gas pedal getting stuck).

According to the NHTSA recall database, the problem is that some steering wheels may have been improperly fastened during manufacturing, and could separate from the steering column. General Motors (which owns Chevrolet) says that GM and Chevrolet dealers will inspect (free of charge) the steering wheel and steering column of affected Cruze models to ensure proper assembly. If you own a Cruze vehicle that’s being recalled, you’ll likely be hearing from GM or your dealer soon, if you haven’t been contacted already. You can also get in touch with Chevrolet directly at 1-800-630-2438 or visit GM’s website for car owners.

Learn more about vehicle recalls and defects in Nolo’s article Product Liability Claims Involving Defective Cars.