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Raw turkey salmonella outbreak continues to cause illnesses

Photo: MGN Online & Pixabay

ALBANY, Georgia (WFXL) - The Center for Disease Control and Prevention have announced that 74 more people were sickened by a multi-state outbreak of salmonella linked to raw turkey products back in July.

Those 74 cases join 90 others that were originally reported, leading to a total of 164 infections across 35 states.

Of those infections, 63 people were hospitalize and one died as a result of the infection.

CDC officials say that a single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.

The outbreak strain of salmonella is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS officials say they have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

The CDC is advising people to take the following precautions to help prevent getting infected:

  • Wash your hands: Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs: Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas: Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets: Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.
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