Death now linked to ongoing turkey salmonella outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
November 15, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health and regulatory officials in 35 states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products. But while you're making plans to whip up the most impressive turkey dish you can muster, remember that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still working on a almost year-long investigation into a turkey salmonella outbreak that has already claimed at least one life and left over 150 sick. Since last November, the agency said 164 people have fallen ill in 35 states, with the most recent case being reported on October 20. The agency does not advise that "consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products". CDC officials simply reminded everyone to properly cook and handle your Thanksgiving turkey.

CDC epidemiologist Colin Basler said the agency is receiving new illnesses on a weekly basis, according to the Associated Press.

There is generally some lag time in between when a person falls ill and when the sickness gets reported. 'CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.' The slowly spreading outbreak hasn't been linked to any one supplier, but the CDC notes that this particular strain has already been found in live birds as well as turkey products and even pet food containing turkey. The only place the salmonella has been found is in live turkeys, ground turkey, turkey patties, and raw turkey pet food.

The National Turkey Federation said in a statement that its members have reviewed their salmonella-control programs. Employees may be required to wear protective boots and clothing to avoid being exposed to pathogens from the unusual looking bird. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they are touched by raw turkey. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkeycan have germs that spread around food preparation areas and will make you sick. Last week, Conagra Brands recalled 2.4 million boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix because of a link to salmonella. The symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping. Illnesses are more likely to be severe in the elderly and infants, according to the CDC.

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