First death linked to ongoing turkey salmonella outbreak

CDC Outbreak traced to raw turkey turns deadly 35 states now report cases
By Coral Beach

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning people to be extra careful when handling raw turkey in the wake of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 164 people in 35 states in recent months.

According to the CDC, the outbreak strain of salmonella has been identified in samples from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys. In addition, Duncan Hines has recalled some cake mixes because of potential salmonella contamination that has made five people sick.In 2011 an outbreak of a different strain of salmonella linked to ground turkey made 129 people sick and killed one."Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria", the CDC said.

So far, 63 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been tied to the infection in California.

Minnesota and IL have seen the most cases, with 17 and 16 respectively. California has seen 13, Texas has seen 12 and NY has reported 11 cases, according to the CDC.

Health officials also warn against feeding raw turkey to pets.

At this time the CDC is "not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products".

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The heat kills the risky bacteria.

"In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations". That includes washing your hands frequently and keeping the raw turkey away from other food items.

When reheating leftovers, make sure they're also heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use separate cutting boards for meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. "The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment."Salmonella is a very common cause of food poisoning".

This result provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from preparing raw turkey products.

The CDC says you should thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes or in the microwave, but do not leave it on the counter.

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