8 On Your Side: Tips to avoid turkey-based salmonella outbreak

Local News

Just a week before Thanksgiving, concerns are rising over an ongoing outbreak of salmonella linked to raw turkeys. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in the last year, there have been 164 illnesses in 35 states. 

A total of 63 people were hospitalized, and one person died from salmonella in California.

Happening just a week before Thanksgiving is probably the worst time for a turkey-based salmonella outbreak.  Statistics show during the Thanksgiving holiday Americans consume an average of 46 million turkeys and even worse.  

CDC officials say a single common supplier hasn’t been identified with this drug-resistant strain of salmonella and believe this could be a widespread issue throughout the turkey industry. 

The antibiotic-resistant strain was identified in ground turkey, raw turkey pet food, and live turkeys.

Tips to avoid getting sick:

  • Thaw it in the refrigerator — not on the countertop.
  • Cook your turkey to at least 165 degrees.
  • Reheat leftovers to 165 degrees. 
  • Avoid feeding raw turkey to pets.

Three people who got sick from turkeys fed raw turkey to their animals. 

Symptoms of salmonella are similar to symptoms of food poisoning:

  • Fever
  • Stomach aches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

Symptoms kick in within 12 to 72 hours after exposure.  However, most people get better within four days to a week without treatment, but sometimes the illness can be so severe that people need to be hospitalized for treatment. This usually affects people under the age of 5 or over the age of 65 or those with weakened immune systems.     

8 News NOW reached out to both the CDC and USDA Food Safety and Inspection to ask why there isn’t a massive recall, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection issued the following statement essentially, saying that they haven’t been able to identify products or the source of the strain or they would have issued a recall.

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