At least 40 people have been hospitalized in 26 states due to salmonella, and raw turkey may be the culprit, say U.S. health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that Salmonella Reading, which is believed to be linked to turkey, infected 90 people, leaving dozens hospitalized. There have been no deaths.
New York, Minnesota, Illinois, and Texas have reported the highest number of cases, totaling about 38 infections. California, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have also reported four to six cases.
The CDC said, “Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.”
“In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Two ill people lived in a household where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets,” the agency said.
The salmonella outbreak strain was identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, as well as live turkeys, said the CDC.
But, it added, a “single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified” in the outbreak.
The strain “might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce salmonella contamination,” according to the agency.
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.