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1 Death Linked To Ongoing Turkey Salmonella Outbreak

November 08, 2018 - 6:31 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Centers for Disease Control is warning of a salmonella outbreak involving turkey, with just two weeks to go before Thanksgiving.

There have been 164 people who have fallen ill from the outbreak, which began last year around this time, in 35 states, including several cases in Michigan. The spike in cases happening since May of this year with the CDC adding 74 more ill people from 26 states to the investigation since July.  

CDC officials say it appears the strain might be widespread in the turkey industry.  

"In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.
The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys."

The CDC says that they have not been able to identify a "single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys." 

The best way to avoid becoming ill is to cook the turkey thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, before eating.  

Food preparers should also be sure to wash their hands and any areas contaminated by the raw meat.

There has been one reported death. 

Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick cautions the CDC. 

CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

CDC will update the advice to consumers and retailers if more information comes available, such as a supplier or type of raw turkey product linked to illness.

Symptoms of Salmonella Infection

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.

For more information, see the CDCSalmonella website -[HERE]