LOS ANGELES – A day after one of the nation’s largest food recalls, federal health officials warned the public that frozen turkey bought weeks or even months ago and stored in a home freezer could be contaminated with a deadly strain of salmonella.

“We’re urging people to check packaging on any ground turkey in their homes and not to eat ground turkey that was part of the recall,” Chris Braden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, said Thursday. “Ground turkey has a long shelf life.”

The warning comes a day after food giant Cargill Inc. launched a voluntary recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey that health officials believe is contaminated and may have caused the death of one Californian and the illness of 79 others in the United States. No illnesses have been reported in Maine.

The recall applies to turkey products produced at the company’s Springdale, Ark., plant since Feb. 20. Health authorities linked turkey processed at the plant to the outbreak in 26 states of Salmonella Heidelberg, a strain of salmonella that is resistant to most commonly prescribed antibiotics.

The turkey was sold under several brand names, including “Honeysuckle White,” “Kroger,” “Shady Brook Farms,” “Giant Eagle,” “Fit & Active,” “Riverside” and “Safeway Fresh.” A full list of the brand names can be found at www.cargill.com/turkey-recall.

Cargill announced the voluntary recall Wednesday and promised to stop production of ground turkey from the plant until a source of the contamination was found.

Cargill has asked consumers with questions about recalled ground turkey products to call the company’s consumer relations department at (888) 812-1646.

Salmonella can cause fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain and can be fatal to young children, older people and those with compromised immune systems.