CDC warns to be extra careful washing, cooking Thanksgiving turkeys this year

Science

The advisory was made due to the salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey that has lasted nearly a year and sickened 200 people in 35 states.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last Thursday that 164 people have gotten sick and one person has died as a result of salmonella-tainted raw turkey.

CDC epidemiologist Colin Basler said the agency is receiving new illnesses on a weekly basis, according to the Associated Press.

The CDC added that at this time, it is "not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products". The California Department of Public Health did not immediately respond to an email seeking additional details about the death.

"The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products and live turkeys", the CDC said in a statement on their website.

CDC officials also haven't announced any recommendation to avoid turkey. As the investigation continues health officials are surveying everyone who became infected to get a better idea of what they ate, when, and where they purchased the turkey. So, if you were planning on trying some exotic turkey cooking technique this year it might be best to play it safe and just cook the living heck out of it, lest you or your family come down with a nasty illness for the holidays. But it said it believes the outbreak is widespread and ongoing, and it reminded people to properly cook and handle turkey with Thanksgiving approaching. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F to kill harmful germs.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey, and use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.

Salmonella causes over one million infections per year, according to the CDC.

Symptoms of salmonella, a common foodborne illness, typically develop within 12 to 72 hours and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Salmonella poisoning can last up to seven days.

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