Salmonella Tied to Turkey Sickens 164 in 35 States

Alicia Farmer
November 12, 2018

The CDC says the outbreak strain has been found in both live turkeys and many kinds of raw turkey products. Of 85 people interviewed, 44 (52%) people interviewed reported preparing or eating turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces, and whole turkey.

The outbreak was first announced in July and has now infected people from 35 different states including New York, Texas, California, Illinois and Minnesota - with a reported 17 cases.

So far 63 people have been hospitalized, and the fatal infection involves a person from California.

Available data indicate that this strain of Salmonella Reading may be present in live turkeys and in raw turkey products.

An additional salmonella outbreak connected to raw chicken products has made at least 92 more people sick across the country in recent months.

"We are still seeing new illnesses being reported on a weekly basis", Colin Basler, an epidemiologist with the CDC, said, according to The Associated Press.

Minnesota and IL have seen the most cases, with 17 and 16 respectively.

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People get sick from Salmonella 12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.

When reheating leftovers, make sure they're also heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the CDC have been working with members of the turkey industry to reduce the harm of contamination events like this outbreak. Most of the infections in this outbreak are susceptible to the antibiotics that are commonly used for treatment, so this resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people. Don't wash the raw turkey itself, however, as this can spread bacteria if the water splashes onto other surfaces.

The CDC also recommends thawing turkeys in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Three of the people became ill after feeding their pets raw turkey.

The CDC is warning consumers that if you are going to handle a turkey this Thanksgiving, wash your hands thoroughly after every time you touch it.

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