With Thanksgiving less than a week away, Consumer Reports is calling on the US Department of Agriculture to identify the brands of turkey involved in an ongoing salmonella outbreak. In the past year, hundreds of cases of salmonella have been linked to raw turkey products.
The CDC reports 164 illnesses in 35 states, including Pennsylvania, and one death in California. About half of those sickened have been hospitalized.
“Most people get sick between 12 and 72 hours after coming into contact with salmonella bacteria , most people get diarrhea abdominal cramps and a fever,” said Dr, Colin Basler, CDC.
Salmonella has been detected in ground turkey, raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, an indication the bacteria is widespread in the turkey industry. A common supplier has not been identified.
Dr. Basler added, “we want to make sure people are washing their hands after handling raw turkey , making sure people are cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. If you cook turkey to the internal temperature of 165 degrees this strain of salmonella should die. Leftovers should also be reheated to 165.
Children under 5, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness from contaminated food.