Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Raw Turkey Products, CDC Warns

Several hundred individuals nationwide have been sickened by salmonella-tainted turkey products since just before Thanksgiving of 2017, according to a new report. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an updated investigation notice February 15, outlining the results of an ongoing salmonella food poisoning outbreak.

A total of 279 people from 41 states and the District of Columbia have fallen ill due to contaminated raw turkey products, including at least 107 cases that resulted in hospitalizations, and one death.

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The first illness is believed to have been detected on November 20, 2017 and the update goes through January 29 of this year. The CDC confirmed people have been sickened with the same salmonella DNA fingerprint bacteria in both the U.S. and Canada.

The outbreak has been tied to various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties. The salmonella strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food as well as live turkeys; however, the outbreak may be widespread in the turkey industry.

Every person infected had contact with raw turkey products, live turkeys, or raw turkey pet food for their pets.

Since there has been no single common supplier of raw turkey products or live turkeys identified to account for the whole outbreak, researchers believe the outbreak spans the breadth of the turkey industry. Therefore, the outbreak strain may be found at many facilities among many suppliers and many different brands and types of turkey foods and products.

So far, several turkey products have been recalled after testing confirmed the products were contaminated with the salmonella strain. Those products include raw ground turkey and pet food containing turkey.

The CDC recommends all turkey be thoroughly and properly cooked. It also recommends washing hands thoroughly after handling raw turkey and cooking turkey, which should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Salmonella infections can cause mild to severe health consequences depending upon the individual. The bacteria may cause a healthy person to experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain whereas the young or elderly with weakened immune systems may face more severe consequences, including fatal infections.

Among pregnant women, salmonella poisoning may cause still births and miscarriages. Occasionally, salmonella infections may travel through the bloodstream and produce illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis, which can cause severe to potentially life threatening health consequences.

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