The disease control and prevention centers just issued a new update to the ongoing study of a one-month outbreak of salmonella in turkey products. The update, which is the first since mid-December last year, adds over 60 new confirmed cases of Salmonella infection in the 200+ cases already logged.
A total of 279 cases have now been confirmed across 41 states with over 100 hospitalized patients and one death due to the outbreak. Unfortunately, bulletin brings more bad news as there is still no confirmed source of salmonella and the study remains active.
According to the CDC, those who have come down with the bacterial infection have previously eaten turkey products in many different forms from countless brands. Some victims were even infected by handling raw turkey feed foods, and health officials identified the specific Salmonella strain in both turkey products and live turkeys.
The last point is the most disturbing since Salmonella in living turkeys at various locations could indicate an extremely widespread problem. CDC explains:
Outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, suggesting that it may be widespread in the turkey industry. The CDC and the USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives of the turkey industry and requested that they take steps to reduce Salmonella pollution.
The CDC also contains some tips on preventing Salmonella infection from own products home, including washing your hands thoroughly after handling raw or undercooked turkey products, cooking turkey at a minimum internal temperature of 1
A number of companies producing turkey products have released recalls for their products, including Jennie-O. You can see the various recalls and specific products on the CDC website.
Salmonella infection typically lasts up to one week and includes symptoms such as diarrhea, seizures and fever. Antibiotics can help and in some cases prevent death in people with weakened immune systems or the elderly.