Ground Turkey Salmonella Food Poisoning Cases Found in 26 States

Health officials say that at least one death and 77 illnesses reported throughout the country may have been caused by salmonella in ground turkey. 

Cases of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections have been reported in 26 states since March 9, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California and Pennsylvania have had the most cases.

Of the 77 illnesses reported, 22 have resulted in hospitalization and one person has died. The FSIS issued a public health warning on July 29.

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Neither the CDC nor the FSIS have stepped forward to identify the manufacturer of the contaminated ground turkey. However, the CDC has matched the strain to four contaminated ground turkey products, and indicates that three of the four products that tested positive for the same strain of salmonella food poisoning were produced at the same facility. The deceased victim has also not been identified.

Salmonella food poisoning attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe symptoms. For most healthy adults, problems associated with food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death.

The FSIS reminded all consumers to cook ground turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which should be measured with a food thermometer and not simply inferred by cooking time.


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