But, it added, a "single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified" in the outbreak. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. There are now no deaths associated with this outbreak, which began last November.
The US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service is monitoring the outbreak. Among the 61 infected people interviewed by the CDC, 37 reported preparing turkey products that were purchased raw, ranging from whole turkeys to ground meat. 40 people have been infected. Two individuals reported falling ill after their dogs and cats ate pet food containing raw turkey.
The CDC recommends that people handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning, wash your hands, cook raw turkey thoroughly, and don't spread germs from turkey around food preparation areas.
"Given that this outbreak has been continuing for nine months, it's still surprising that the USDA and CDC did not alert the public earlier so people would know to be especially careful with raw turkey", said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.
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While the CDC termed the salmonella in this outbreak "multidrug-resistant", only 33 percent of the isolates from sick folks showed genes that would fight off the effects of antibiotics ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, gentamicin, and kanamycin. At this time, the CDC hasn't advised consumers to avoid eating fully cooked turkey products or told retailers to take those products off the shelves.
- The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
- In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after touching raw turkey and use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible. Use it on the thickest part of your turkey or chicken to make sure you cook it to a temperature of 165 degrees. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods.