The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have just released a new update of their ongoing investigation into a multi-month Salmonella outbreak linked to turkey products. This update, the first since mid-December of last year, adds more than 60 new cases of Salmonella infection confirmed to the 200 cases already registered.
A total of 279 cases have now been confirmed in 41 states, with more than 100 hospitalized patients and one death resulting from the outbreak. Unfortunately, the newsletter brings other bad news because there is still no confirmed source of Salmonella and the survey remains active.
According to the CDC, those who have contracted the bacterial infection have previously consumed turkey products in many different forms from innumerable brands. Some victims have even been infected by handling raw pet food, and health authorities have identified the specific strain of Salmonella in live turkey and turkey products.
This last point is the most troubling, as the presence of Salmonella in live turkeys at various locations could indicate a widespread problem. The CDC explains:
The epidemic strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating that it may be prevalent in the turkey industry. The CDC and USDA-FSIS shared this information with representatives of the turkey industry and asked them to take steps to reduce Salmonella contamination.
The CDC also offers tips for preventing Salmonella infection from products in your home, including washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw or undercooked turkey products, cooking the turkey at a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit pet meat diets.
A number of companies that produce turkey products have issued recalls for their products, including Jennie-O. You can view the various recalls and specific products on the CDC website.
Salmonella infection usually lasts up to a week and includes symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps and fever. Antibiotics can help and, in some cases, prevent death in people with weakened immune systems or in the elderly.