What You Need to Know About the Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey Products

A salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products has officially turned deadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Friday.

This is the latest update in an outbreak the CDC has been tracking for almost exactly a year. The first illnesses reported as part of the outbreak started between November 20, 2017 and have continued to pop up through October 20, 2018. In total, there have been 164 illnesses in 35 states associated with the outbreak, 63 of which required hospitalization. Of those, 74 cases in 26 states—including one death—were reported since the CDC's last update this past July.

According to health department interviews with 85 people who became sick in connection the outbreak, 44 people became ill after eating turkey products they had purchased raw, including turkey pieces, whole turkey, and ground turkey. And another three people became ill after handling raw turkey to feed to their pets (for the record, the CDC doesn't recommend feeding pets a raw diet).

There aren't any recalls associated with the outbreak, and the CDC isn't warning consumers against buying any specific products. However, the agency is still reminding everyone to be especially careful when handling raw turkey.

The symptoms of a salmonella infection usually start within three days of being exposed to contaminated food.

As SELF wrote previously, those symptoms usually include gastrointestinal issues, such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, as well as fever, headache, and chills.

For most otherwise healthy adults, a salmonella infection isn't particularly serious. But it's more likely to be severe in young children, the elderly, pregnant people, and anyone with an already weakened immune system. The strain of salmonella bacteria identified in this outbreak was tested and found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. But, the CDC says, it isn't resistant to the types most often used in treatment, so it shouldn't present an issue for most patients.

Right now, this is a reminder that it's incredibly important to be careful when preparing any raw meat or poultry—including turkey. That means following basic food safety procedures, like washing your hands, making sure your turkey is cooked thoroughly (up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit), and keeping raw turkey separate from other foods while preparing it to avoid spreading any germs. Although it's always important to keep these tips in mind, they'll be especially crucial as we head into Thanksgiving.


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Self – Health