September 25, 2023

Salmonella Reading Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey Products Sickens 90; Lawsuits Possible

A Salmonella Reading outbreak that has sickened 90 people in 26 states has just been announced by the CDC. The outbreak is linked to raw turkey parts from a variety of sources. Forty people are hospitalized because they are so ill, which is a very high percentage.

Salmonella Reading Outbreak Turkey 71819

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys hasn’t been identified in this Salmonella Reading outbreak, which is similar to the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce that sickened 210 people earlier this year. No single source was found for that outbreak, but canal water in the Yuma, Arizona region did contain the outbreak strain of E. coli.

The case count by state is: Alaska (1), California (6), Colorado (3), Florida (4), Georgia (2), Hawaii a(1), Iowa (2), Illinois (9), Indiana (3), Kansas (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (13), New Jersey (5), New York (8), North Carolina (3), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina (1), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), Texas (8), Virginia (3), and Wisconsin (3).

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented clients sickened with Salmonella infections, said, “If you are part of this Salmonella Reading outbreak, even when you recover from this infection, there is still a risk you will develop a serious complication in the future.” Call 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202 for help.

The high number of cases in Minnesota may be explained because that state is the number one producer and processor of turkeys in the country. And, the CDC stated that the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been found in samples from raw turkey pet food in Minnesota.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading was also found in raw turkey products from 19 slaughter and 6 processing establishments, and from live turkeys in several states. The outbreak notice stated that “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.”

The patient age range is from less than 1 year to 91, with a median age of 41. More than 50% of patients interviewed have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Ill persons were interviewed about the foods they ate and other exposures the week before they got sick. Of 61 people interviewed, 37, or 61%, said they prepared or eat turkey products that were purchased raw, including ground turkey, turkey pieces, and whole turkey. Those people said they bought many different brands or raw turkey products from multiple stores. Three of those sickened worked in a facility that raises or processes turkeys, or lived with someone who did.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that may be bloody. If you or someone you know has been experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor.

So government health officials are warning consumers to handle raw turkey carefully and to cook it thoroughly. Raw turkey, as with other types of raw poultry, and raw beef and pork, can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria that can make you sick. The government is not recommending that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

If you feed raw pet food to your dog, be careful when handling it. Wash utensils and other items that come into contact with the food. And when you pet or handle your animal, wash your hands well with soap and water. Pets can become carriers of pathogenic bacteria and shed it in their feces, which can get onto their coats. CDC doesn’t recommend feeding raw diets to pets.

Avoid cross-contamination with raw turkey and utensils, plates, and kitchen surfaces. Wash your hands well after handling raw turkey, and disinfect kitchen surfaces after you work with it. Avoid cross-contamination between the raw product and foods that are eaten uncooked. And always cook all turkey products to 165°F as measured with a reliable food thermometer.

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