There is a looming cause for concern in the air as Thanksgiving Day approaches amid a salmonella outbreak that has been linked to turkey.
According to People, this recent outbreak doesn’t mean people should fear having turkey at Thanksgiving this year as the CDC has not linked it to the turkey itself but to the mishandling of turkey. More specifically, the mishandling of raw turkey.
At least one person has been confirmed dead and another 164 are sick following the outbreak of salmonella linked to raw turkey across 35 different states including New York, Texas, California, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Presently, they have not been able to determine where the outbreak started. Moreover, they have not been able to link the outbreak to a specific brand of turkey either. In fact, the CDC confirmed people affected by the outbreak have been eating to a variety of brands and types of turkey products purchased from different places.
With no common factor linking the outbreak to a specific brand or location, the CDC believes improperly handling raw turkey is the likely culprit.
“The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys,” the CDC confirmed in a statement.
The CDC added to their statement: “The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.”
Diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps are the more common symptoms associated with this type of salmonella. The silver lining is the illness isn’t that different from food poisoning in the sense that most people rest, re-hydrate, and get better the same way they would if they were suffering from the flu. Older individuals, children, and individuals with underlying health conditions are at the greatest health risk associated with this outbreak.
To keep yourself and your family safe as Thanksgiving Day approaches, the CDC urges people to “cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs.”
“Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles and sausage should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F.”
Raw turkey should never be placed near other food until it is thoroughly cooked to kill germs and prevent them from passing to other foods. Individuals preparing turkey are encouraged to wear disposable gloves and wash their hands properly – up to their elbows – before and after handling the turkey. If you suspect any part of the raw turkey – including fluids – made contact with your clothing while cooking, you should also change your clothes after cooking as well.
While the CDC does not believe the salmonella outbreak is something people should fear as they head toward Thanksgiving, they do believe it is something people should be aware of. If you are extra careful when handling raw turkey, you should have nothing to worry about.
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