June 15, 2024

Salmonella Outbreak in Washington May Be Linked to Nationwide Turkey Outbreak

A Salmonella Reading outbreak in Washington state may be linked to the nationwide Salmonella Reading outbreak that was caused by raw turkey products. The nationwide raw turkey product outbreak was declared over by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in April 2019.

Salmonella Outbreak in Washington May Be Linked to Nationwide Turkey Outbreak

At least 358 people in 42 states were sickened in the nationwide outbreak, and 130 were hospitalized. One person died.

Since April 24, 2019, seven people (two who live in Snohomish County and five from King County) said they got sick after eating at a private event on April 20, 2019. Officials think that the two outbreaks are related because laboratory testing indicates the Washington outbreak strain is closely related to the national outbreak strain. The last reported illness in the national outbreak was on March 31, 2019.

The CDC is continuing to monitor for other patients sickened by this strain because the Salmonella bacteria that caused the illnesses is present in the turkey industry.

At the Washington event, many different potluck items were brought by party attendees. Pork, turkey legs, and lamb were eaten at the party. Some of this meat was partially prepared in a private residence. Officials were not able to gather details about all of the foods served and consumed at the private event. No product remained for public health officials to test.

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If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a Salmonella infection, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900.

Public health investigators visited the food facility where the pork, turkey, and lamb were purchased. All of these meat products were held at the correct temperatures in a facility. No processing, such as cutting or cooking, occurred at that facility that could have increased the risk of bacterial contamination.

Four of the seven people sickened in the local Washington state event tested positive for Salmonella Reading with the same genetic fingerprint at the patients sickened in the nationwide outbreak. This indicates that the ill persons all have a common source of infection. The other three patients in Washington state had symptoms consistent with salmonellosis, the illness caused by the Salmonella bacteria.

As always, to prevent illnesses, all meats should be handled with care and cooked thoroughly to safe final internal temperatures. Cook all meats to safe temperatures before serving them. And wash your hands well with soap and water before preparing food, after preparing food, and before eating. And if you do get sick with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody, see your doctor.

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