Days Before Thanksgiving, Turkey Crapped On In 35 States

Fecal bacteria blamed in “ongoing outbreak,” dozens sick: CDC

| Food handling tips to keep your family safe this Turkey Day 

| Gizmodo – Just two weeks out from the biggest turkey-focused day of the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 164 people across 35 states have fallen ill from Salmonella-tainted raw turkey.

The CDC said that 74 more people were reported sick in the ongoing outbreak since its last report in July, and the outbreak has been linked to one death in California.

Lab tests showed that raw turkey products contaminated with Salmonella had multiple sources of origin, and the outbreak strain was identified in raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

While the CDC says it believes the sources of the outbreak strain show it could be “widespread,” no products or brands have yet been recalled. The National Turkey Federation said it is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

“Our members have individually reviewed their Salmonella control programs in all phases of turkey production and are working collectively through NTF to address this and all strains of Salmonella,” it said in a statement on Thursday. Read more. 


How to Prevent Salmonella

“The bacteria are spread in the feces.” – Taking steps to prevent getting a salmonella infection can save you and your family from being one of the 1.2 million people in the United States who contract this illness each year.

The bacteria responsible for salmonella is spread by contaminated food and by handling animals such as pet turtles that carry it in their feces.

Avoid raw or undercooked meat and eggs and ensure raw meat is handled separately from other foods when preparing a meal.

Preventing infection is especially important for those most at risk of a severe illness, including young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.

While most people get diarrhea that runs its course in a few days, approximately 450 people die every year from acute salmonellosis. There is no vaccine for salmonella and you can catch the illness multiple times, so it is important to avoid contact with the bacteria.


Salmonellosis is an illness that includes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The bacteria are spread in the feces. Some people are healthy but are carriers of the bacteria. Use these tips so you don’t give salmonella to others or get it from them:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before preparing food.
  • A person who has salmonellosis should not prepare food or pour water for others until they have had no symptoms for 48 hours.
  • A person who has salmonellosis should not return to work, child care, or school until they have had no symptoms for 48 hours.
  • Don’t go swimming if you have had diarrhea in the past 24 hours.

Food Preparation and Handling

There are many food handling practices that are aimed at preventing salmonella infection from food. These practices are important while eating, cooking at home, and preparing food in restaurants.


  • Wash your hands before and after you handle food items.
  • Wash kitchen work surfaces and utensils with soap and water after preparing each food item.
  • It is better to use disposable paper towels to clean kitchen surfaces than sponges or cloth towels. If you use cloth towels, they should be washed in hot water in a washing machine after each use.
  • Thoroughly wash produce before consuming.
  • Peel and discard outer leaves or rinds of fruits and vegetables.
  • Scrub hearty vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, if you want to eat the skin. Read more.


Questions and Answers – What is Salmonella?

CDC – Salmonella is a bacteria that makes people sick. It was discovered by an American scientist named Dr. Salmon, and has been known to cause illness for over 125 years. The illness people get from a Salmonella infection is called salmonellosis.

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection.

The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most individuals recover without treatment. In some cases, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites.

In these cases, Salmonella can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness1.

How Common is Salmonella Infection?

CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year.2 Among these illnesses, about 1.1 million are acquired in the United States.

Among the illnesses acquired in the United States, CDC estimates that food is the source for about 1 million illnesses, 19,000 hospitalizations, and 380 deaths.

There are many different kinds of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium[PDF – 15 pages] and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common in the United States3. Salmonella infections are more common in the summer than winter. Learn more about Salmonella serotypes.

Who is at Highest Risk for Salmonella Infection?

Children are at the highest risk for Salmonella infection. Children under the age of 5 have higher rates of Salmonella infection than any other age group.

Young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections4.

Are there Long-Term Consequences to a Salmonella Infection?
People with diarrhea due to a Salmonella infection usually recover completely, although it may be several months before their bowel habits are entirely normal.

A small number of people with Salmonella develop pain in their joints. This is called reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis, which can be difficult to treat.

Antibiotic treatment of the initial Salmonella infection does not make a difference in whether or not the person develops arthritis1. People with reactive arthritis can also develop irritation of the eyes and painful urination. Read more.