US Salmonella Outbreak: 40 People Hospitalized in 26 States

Salmonella outbreak in 26 states including North Carolina tied to raw turkey File

Given the potentially ubiquitous nature of this outbreak, the CDC says its working with the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to reach out to representatives from the turkey industry and implement plans to reduce contamination.

Ninety people infected with the outbreak have been reported from 26 states, with one case in Hawaii. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mishandling of turkey might be the cause of the new widespread Salmonella outbreak that has already reached more than half of the 50 states.

No common supplier of turkey has been identified, but the outbreak strain has turned up in samples of raw pet food, raw turkey, and live turkeys. They noted that "properly cooked turkey products" are fine and advised consumers to "always handle raw turkey carefully".

Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to turkey products in the past, especially ground turkey.

- In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

Don't wash raw poultry before cooking it.

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In interviews with people that have gotten sick, they reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations.

"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", the agency said.

Health officials aren't advising consumers to avoid eating turkey products altogether, however. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.

Don't spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas.

- Cook raw turkey thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees and heat leftovers to 165 degrees. This can spread germs around your kitchen and sink. The CDC doesn't recommend feeding raw diets to pets, as it can sicken the pet as well as any humans handling the food. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible. Two individuals reported falling ill after their dogs and cats ate pet food containing raw turkey. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

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