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Raw Turkey Is Connected to Salmonella Outbreak Affecting People in 26 States

21 July 2018

The CDC recommends that people handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning, wash your hands, cook raw turkey thoroughly, and don't spread germs from turkey around food preparation areas.

At least 90 people in 26 states have contracted the illness, 40 of whom were hospitalized.

"This resistance likely will not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people since these antibiotics are not normally used to treat salmonella infections", the agency said.

Investigators have linked the outbreak to raw turkey in various products and pet foods.

In an online update, the public health institute said it had yet to flag down a single, common supplier of raw turkey product as responsible for the widening outbreak, and sickened people reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from a number of different locations.

The first people fell ill nearly 8 months ago.

Illness onsets range from Nov 20, 2017, to Jun 29. Furthermore, WGS showed that the Salmonella strain from these samples is closely related genetically to the Salmonella strain from ill people.

The CDC has yet to determine whether the outbreak was caused by a single source or by multiple providers of raw turkey products. Given the potentially ubiquitous nature of this outbreak, the CDC says its working with the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to reach out to representatives from the turkey industry and implement plans to reduce contamination. The agency isn't advising consumers to avoid eating properly cooked turkey or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products. Some important steps to take: Wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, be careful not to let raw meat juices spew (ick, we know), and cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This can spread germs around your kitchen and sink.

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

- Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils with warm, soapy water after touching raw turkey and use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. They can last up to a week.

Raw Turkey Is Connected to Salmonella Outbreak Affecting People in 26 States