Nationwide Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Turkey

A national multidrug-resistant salmonella outbreak has made its way into at least eight Texans' homes through raw turkey products, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday. According to the report, "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". They believe the outbreak strain is widespread in the turkey industry. Of 78 people with information available, 40 (51%) have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

Dr. Laura Gieraltowski, Lead for the CDC's Foodborne Outbreak Response Team, said, "A lot of people in this outbreak are reporting many different types of turkey products, like whole turkey and ground turkey, and many different brands".

It is unclear where the Salmonella outbreak is coming from, and the CDC said it is still looking into which supplier or type of raw turkey product is linked to the outbreak.

Health officials aren't advising consumers to avoid eating turkey products altogether, however.

Wash your hands before and after preparing or eating your food or your pet's food. 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.

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FSIS reminded consumers to wash their hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat and poultry products, cook these products to the safe recommended temperature, and use a food thermometer. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make people sick. In February, the Minnesota Department of Health released a statement, saying it was investigating two cases in which children had gotten sick after their pets had eaten raw turkey pet food. ". and make sure that your countertops, cutting boards, and utensils are all clean".

Raw ground turkey meat is pictured in this undated stock photo.

Do not feed raw pet food to pets.

The CDC said the outbreak strain has been found in raw turkey pet food in Minnesota, raw turkey samples from 19 slaughter and 6 processing establishments, and from live turkeys in several states.

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