July 19, 2018 -- The CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are warning people to be careful about how they handle and cook raw turkey. Ninety people have gotten sick from raw turkey tainted with salmonella bacteria in 26 states. Forty people have been hospitalized.
Some of the affected people reported eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from different locations. Two of the sick people became ill after handling raw turkey pet food.
The first people fell ill almost 8 months ago. The first illness was reported on Nov. 20, 2017. The latest illness was reported on June 29.
No common supplier of turkey has been identified, but the outbreak strain has turned up in samples of raw pet food, raw turkey, and live turkeys. In its news release, the CDC cautions that these bacteria may be widespread throughout the turkey industry.
The CDC says people should be careful that any turkey products they eat are properly cooked. They’re not asking retailers to stop selling raw turkey products.
Turkey burgers, turkey breasts, whole turkeys, casseroles, and sausage should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Check the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the food.
Here are more tips from the CDC to protect you and your family from getting sick:
- Wash your hands before and after preparing or eating your food or your pet’s food.
- Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking it. This can spread germs around your kitchen and sink.
- Thoroughly wash any kitchen surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw turkey.
- Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps that start 12 to 72 hours after exposure. They can last up to a week.