1 Dead, 164 Sick in Salmonella from Raw Turkey, CDC Says

The Center for Disease and Control and Prevention said on Thursday that one person has died and 164 people became sick due to an outbreak in salmonella connected to raw turkey.

The person who died lived in California. The CDC said that for at least a year now this outbreak has been going on and 63 people were sick enough to be hospitalized.

“The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties,” the CDC said. “The outbreak strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.”

At least 22 slaughterhouses have been affected by the outbreak by the same bacteria as well as seven turkey processing facilities, the CDC found in its inspections.

The CDC advises that thoroughly cooking turkey will destroy salmonella and other foodborne germs. The health organization also posted a warning on Twitter to families planning on preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner.

Back in 2011, 129 people became sick and one person died by an outbreak of a different strain of salmonella linked to ground turkey.

“Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria,” the CDC said. “The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.”

Every year, salmonella makes about 1.2 million people sick, puts 23,000 into the hospital and kills 450 people in the U.S making it a very common cause of food poisoning.

Prevention is a must and there are ways to do so according to the CDC website.

First, safely thaw your turkey in the refrigerator or in the microwave, not on the kitchen counter.

Secondly, safely handle your turkey. Cook, clean, chill and separate!

Thirdly, safely stuff your turkey by doing it just before you cook and then make sure the stuffing in the center reaches a temperature of 165°F even if your turkey temperature indicator inserted in the turkey pops up.

Fourth, make sure you safely cook your turkey by not setting the oven temperature lower than 325°.

And lastly, wash, wash, wash your hands as well as your kitchen countertops every time after you touch raw turkey, or chicken before you touch anything else.

For more detailed information on prevention from salmonella sickness from turkeys or chicken go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/features/TurkeyTime/index.html