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90 cases of Salmonella Reading reported across 26 states

20 July 2018

CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products; the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak

The CDC reports that 90 people have so far been infected with the Salmonella Reading strain across 26 states, 40 of whom have bee hospitalized. To date, no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and labratory evidence, states the CDC, has linked raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading. Interviews with those who have fallen ill reveal that they consumed turkey products of different types and brands from many different locations.

A single supplier of the live turkey and turkey meat products has not been identified, says the CDC.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading 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 have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

Advice to consumers and retailers

Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick.

CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • 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 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. 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
  • 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

CDC will update the advice to consumers and retailers if more information comes available, such as a supplier or type of raw turkey product linked to illness.

Symptoms of Salmonella infections

  • Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria
  • The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment
  • In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body
  • In rare cases, Salmonella infection can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics
  • Children younger than 5 years of age, adults older than 65 years of age, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness
  • For more information, see the CDC Salmonella website

See the CDC website to read more and for their Investigation Details





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