Apparently name brand turkeys are being linked to a recent salmonella outbreat. Public health and regulatory officials are being pressured to name those brands.
The salmonella outbreak linked to turkeys started a year ago and has kept progressing. As of November 5th, 164 people in 35 states have been infected. Sixty-three people have been hospitalized and one person in California has died.
Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and New York have been the states with the most incidents.
Since Thanksgiving is only a week away, Consumer Reports called on the USDA to list all the brands associated with the drug-resistant strain of salmonella on Wednesday.
“The USDA should immediately make public which turkey producers, suppliers, and brands are involved in this outbreak – especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner,” Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumer Reports, said in a statement. “This information could save lives and help ensure consumers take the precautions needed to prevent anyone in their home from getting sick.”
The salmonella strain that is causing the current outbreak has been found in samples from turkey pet food, live turkeys and in raw turkey products in Minnesota, according to the CDC. It has also been present in raw turkey products from slaughterhouses and meat processors.
The CDC is not advising consumers to avoid eating cooked turkey this Thanksgiving, it is recommending handling raw turkey carefully, including washing your hands before and after preparing or eating turkey.
This means cutting boards, counters, and utensils should also be thoroughly washed to prevent the spreading of germs from raw turkey to food preparation areas.
It is also important to cook raw turkey completely. It must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can measure this by placing a thermometer in the thickest part of the bird. These precautions will help prevent food poisoning
Salmonella infection can cause symptoms of what is commonly referred to as “food poisoning.” Symptoms include fever, stomach aches and diarrhea which typically develops within 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.