A new wave of salmonella infections has spread across 26 states, sickening 90 people — and this time the outbreak has been linked to contaminated raw turkey products, reports the Washington Post.
Nearly half the people who contracted the illness have been hospitalized after testimg positive for a particularly dangerous strain of the bacteria known as salmonella reading, with the first infection cases being reported as early as November.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), salmonella reading is resistant to multiple antibiotics and has recently been identified in a variety of meat products made from raw turkey and distributed by multiple suppliers.
“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with salmonella reading and are making people sick,” CDC officials stated on July 19.
The government agency notes that the 90 cases of salmonella infection and the 40 subsequent hospitalizations have been linked to “different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations.”
A multi-state investigating into this latest salmonella outbreak has traced back the illness to both raw turkey products and live poultry, as well as pet food containing raw turkey meat, details the CDC report.
In fact, two Minnesotan children from the Twin Cities metro area contracted the salmonella reading infection after their pets were fed Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food for Pets, produced in October and sold online, notified the Minnesota Department of Health.
While no deaths have been associated with the current multi-state salmonella outbreak, the situation is a complicated one, given that the contamination sources are so numerous and can’t be tracked down to a single supplier.
Food safety attorney Bill Marler opines that this turkey-related salmonella outbreak points to “a salmonella contamination at a farm level that has moved into multiple streams of products.”
“It just shows how salmonella, particularly antibiotic-resistant salmonella, can be in one location and spread through the entire food chain.”
In order to avoid infection, the CDC advises the public to cook raw meat thoroughly, to refrain from feeding raw pet food to their animal companions, and to maintain proper hygiene.
“Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers,” notes the government agency.
This is the latest in a series of salmonella outbreaks that have been raging since April. Forty-five people in 10 states contracted salmonella braenderup infections after eating contaminated eggs traced back to a farm in Indiana, the Inquisitr reported in May.
A month later, 60 people in five states ended up with salmonella linked to pre-cut melon products sold by Caito Foods, per another Inquisitr report.
In mid-July, another bout of salmonella swept through the nation, reaching 100 people in 33 states. The outbreak started in June and was tied to Kellogg’s Honey Smack cereal, which were still being sold in stores a month after the first salmonella cases were reported, the Inquisitr previously informed.