Posted: Sun 9:46 PM, Nov 11, 2018
Updated: Sun 11:02 PM, Nov 11, 2018
(AP/KWCH) Federal health officials on Thursday reported the first death in an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the death was in California but didn’t have any immediate details. Since last November, the agency said 164 people have fallen ill in 35 states, with the most recent case being reported on Oct. 20.
No products have been recalled, and the agency hasn’t recommended that people avoid turkey. But it said it believes the outbreak is widespread and ongoing, and it reminded people to properly cook and handle turkey with Thanksgiving approaching.
“We are still seeing new illnesses being reported on a weekly basis,” said Colin Basler, an epidemiologist with the CDC.
A single supplier hasn’t been identified in connection with the outbreak. The rare salmonella strain was identified in live turkeys, as well as in ground turkey, turkey patties and raw turkey pet food.
To limit risk, the CDC recommends cooking turkey to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees, and washing hands and counters that have touched uncooked meat.
“Not necessarily is it actual going to come from your cooked turkey. whenever you have the juices in your sink and you go to cut up your vegetables or you try to make your stuffing with that, you’re going to be very careful about that cross contamination and everything,” says Wichita chef John Ricketts.
Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods, including packaged foods. This week, Conagra Brands recalled 2.4 million boxes of Duncan Hines cake mix because of a link to salmonella.
The CDC estimates salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses a year. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps and can last up to seven days. Illnesses are more likely to be severe in the elderly and infants, according to the CDC.