The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the first death in regard to an ongoing salmonella outbreak. The outbreak has been linked to contact with raw turkey.
On Thursday, the CDC announced a death in the state of California that is linked to the ongoing salmonella outbreak, which has already affected 35 states. The illnesses from the outbreak began in Nov. 20, 2017, and 74 more illnesses were reported from the previous update last July. That brings the total number of illnesses to 164, with 63 of the affected being hospitalized.
Laboratory evidence shows that it is Salmonella Reading-contaminated raw turkey products from various sources that are making people ill, though so far no single supplier has been identified. Some possibly contaminated products include turkey patties, ground turkey, raw turkey pet food, and even in live turkeys, suggesting that the outbreak may be widespread in the industry.
So far, the investigation on the outbreak is still ongoing.
In the United States, food handling errors and inadequate cooking are the most common causes of poultry-associated foodborne outbreaks. No recall has been made in relation to the current outbreak so far, but authorities are reminding consumers to be very careful when handling raw turkey products.
When thawing, it’s important to either use the microwave or to do so in the refrigerator rather than on the kitchen counter, as leaving it at room temperature for over two hours may bring it to temperatures wherein bacteria can rapidly grow. When stuffing turkey, it’s important to stuff it just before cooking and to ensure that both the meat and the stuffing reaches a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
As always, proper handwashing is very important when it comes to preventing the spread of disease. When it comes to leftovers, it is important to keep them at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or even colder so as to prevent bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens from growing in it.