The Centers for Disease Control and several state public health and regulatory officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of food poisoning linked to raw turkey products.
Two things make this outbreak particularly nasty and worrisome:
- There does not yet appear to be a single source for the outbreak, suggesting the infection may be industry wide
- The particular salmonella infection appears to be resistant to several drugs used to treat such infections.
So far, 90 cases of salmonella infection from raw turkey products have been reported in 26 states. At least 40 people have been hospitalized.
Minnesota alone has 13 cases.
None at this point have been reported in North Dakota.
The CDC notes the outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
The CDC is not advuising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products or that retailers stop selling raw turney products.
However, the CDC advises consumers to follow proper food handling and preparation procedures, such as:
- Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another.
- 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.
- 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.
You can read more about the salmonella outbreak here.