Minnesotans sickened by salmonella from raw turkey

Henrietta Strickland
July 22, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is continuing to monitor a Salmonella Reading outbreak that may be associated with raw turkey products.

According to the CDC, as of July 11, 90 people have been been infected with salmonella with reports coming from 26 states, including Pennsylvania.

The issue has not yet been linked to a specific brand or product. The CDC isn't advising that sellers recall turkey products or that customers avoid eating turkey, since properly cooking the meat can prevent food poisoning.

But, it added, a "single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified" in the outbreak.

The USDA, the FDA and the CDC said they "have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce salmonella contamination".

The MSU professor also says the best practice for cleaning raw poultry is to wipe it off with a damp piece of paper towel and not under running water in a sink. Two people lived in a home where pets were fed raw turkey pet food.

"It just shows how salmonella, particularly antibiotic-resistant salmonella, can be in one location and spread through the entire food chain", he told The Washington Post.

Thoroughly wash any kitchen surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw turkey. The CDC recommended that turkey products, including burgers, casseroles, and sausages, be cooked or reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees - including leftovers.

People infected with salmonella usually experience fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps about 12 to 72 hours after eating a contaminated food.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak.

Don't spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas.

Bottom line: No need to change anything if you're already careful when handling raw meat.

"In Hawai'i, we love to eat and enjoy gatherings with potlucks and raw foods, which make us especially susceptible to foodborne illnesses", said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager for food safety. The CDC doesn't recommend feeding raw diets to pets, as it can sicken the pet as well as any humans handling the food.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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