Six-month old Salmonella outbreak from raw turkey continues to expand
The deadly multistate outbreak of multiple drug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products continues to expand, according to the latest update from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
The outbreak dates back to last July and the most recent of four associated recalls occurred only two weeks ago. According to the latest report:
Since the last update on December 21, 2018, 63 more ill people were reported, bringing the total to 279 ill people from 41 states and the District of Columbia.
107 people have been hospitalized.
One death was reported from California in a previous update.
Illnesses in this outbreak occurred from November 20, 2017, to January 29, 2019.
The Health Agency of Canada has identified ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Reading bacteria in Canada.
The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties. The outbreak strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.
Several turkey products have been recalled because they might have been contaminated with Salmonella.
A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.
The outbreak strain could be present in many facilities and suppliers, meaning many brands and types of foods containing raw turkey could be affected.
CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and requested that they take steps to reduce salmonella contamination in turkeys.
This investigation is ongoing and the CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
CDC’s advice for consumers:
Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning.
With the exception of the recalled turkey products, CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.
General ways you can prevent salmonella infection include good handwashing and cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey to check the temperature. For turkey burgers, insert a thermometer in the side of the burger, into the thickest part of the patty in the center.
CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets.
More prevention advice here.
People get sick from Salmonella12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
History of associated recalls:
On January 28, 2019, Woody’s Pet Food Deli in Minnesota recalled External raw turkey pet food. The recalled product was sold in 5-pound plastic containers labeled “Woody’s Pet Food Deli Raw Free Range Turkey” and was sold in Minnesota.
On December 21, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Faribault, Minnesota recalled approximately 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products. The recalled ground turkey was sold in 1-pound, 2.5-pound and 3-pound packages labeled with the establishment number “P-579”. This is found on the side of the product tray package.
On November 15, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Barron, Wisconsin recalled approximately 147,276 pounds of raw ground turkey products. The recalled ground turkey was sold in one-pound packages labeled with the establishment number “P-190”. This is found inside the USDA mark of inspection.
On February 5, 2018, Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN recalled approximately 4,000 pounds of its External in 5 pounds and 1 pound chubs of Ground Turkey Pet Food.
Do not eat, sell, or serve recalled turkey products.
CDC will update the advice to consumers and retailers if more information becomes available, such as a supplier or type of raw turkey product linked to illness.