At least 164 have been infected with a multidrug-resistant case of salmonella, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated Thursday. The infection, caused by contaminated raw turkey products, has killed one person in California and hospitalized 63 more around the country.
According to the CDC, the outbreak strain of salmonella has been identified in samples from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys. No specific supplier linking the cases has been identified, indicating the infection might be “widespread in the turkey industry.”
An additional salmonella outbreak connected to raw chicken products has made at least 92 more people sick across the country in recent months.
Salmonella affects around 1.2 million in the U.S. every year, causing diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps up to three days after infection, the CDC states. Illness usually lasts up to a week, and most can recover without treatment depending on the severity of diarrhea.
Consumers are advised to wash their hands frequently and clean food preparation areas thoroughly when cooking raw meats. Don’t wash the raw turkey itself, however, as this can spread bacteria if the water splashes onto other surfaces. Cooking the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F will kill any harmful germs. Leftovers should also be reheated to a temperature of 165°F.
With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, the CDC tweeted out a reminder that raw turkeys should be thawed in the fridge, not on the counter. If the turkey is left out at room temperature for more than two hours, it can foster the growth of bacteria.
The CDC added that it does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets, as germs like salmonella can easily make you or your pet sick.