- A Salmonella outbreak tied to raw turkey meat has sickened 164 people in 35 states.
- Out of the reported illnesses, 63 people have gone to the hospital and one person from California has also died.
- The CDC is not advising consumers to stop eating or buying turkey meat, but rather to practice safety procedures.
If you're planning on picking up your Thanksgiving turkey soon, listen up. A Salmonella outbreak tied to raw turkey meat has sickened 164 people in 35 states over the past few months, the revealed yesterday.
The widespread cases don't trace back to a specific brand or product, either. The strain has appeared in samples taken from raw turkey products (like ground meat, patties, or whole birds), raw turkey pet food, and live turkeys with no common supplier. Out of the reported illnesses, 63 people have gone to the hospital and one person from California has also died.
So far the affected states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
People infected with Salmonella often develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 hours to three days after exposure to the bacteria. The symptoms can last for up to a week, and while many people recover without treatment, sometimes hospitalization is required. Severe diarrhea can lead to dehydration, and in a few rare cases the infection can spread from the intestines to other parts of the body.
The good news: You don't have to rejigger your Thanksgiving menu entirely. The CDC is not advising consumers to stop eating or buying turkey meat. Following food safety procedures and cooking raw meat thoroughly will help protect you from harmful germs.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Here's what the CDC advises consumers do to avoid getting infected:
- Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food, touching animals, using the restroom, or changing diapers.
- Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.
- Don't wash raw poultry before cooking. It can spread germs to other areas.
- Only put stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.
- Cook raw poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
- Don't feed your pets raw food. The CDC warns it can make you and your animals sick.
Watch Out for These Current Recalls
Turkey's not the only food you should take caution with right now. Recent Salmonella outbreaks have also affected the following foods:
Check your pantry and fridge and throw any potentially contaminated food away or return it for a refund.
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