Salmonella illness outbreak: At least 90 sickened from contaminated raw turkey

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Federal health officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced they are investigating a salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products. States that reported included Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The CDC reports there have been 90 reported cases in 26 states, including OH and Pennsylvania.

The CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

No common supplier of turkey has been identified, but the outbreak strain has turned up in samples of raw pet food, raw turkey, and live turkeys.

Don't spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas.

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In interviews, CDC said ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations.

The CDC said that those who have become infected with salmonella may experience diarrhea, fever and stomach pains, though most cases clear up without medical intervention. However, it added that the resistance won't likely affect antibiotic treatment choice for most people, because the drugs in the resistance profile aren't typically used to treat Salmonella infections. Infections rarely cause death, according to the agency.

Prevent cross-contamination by separating raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs when you prepare and store foods.

To kill harmful germs, both raw turkey and leftovers should be heated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Also wash your hands after petting animals or using the restroom. Hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils should all be cleaned with warm, soapy water after coming into contact with raw turkey.

Consumers are reminded to cook all raw meat and poultry products to the recommended temperature and thoroughly wash your hands after handling any of these products. "Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet", the report warns.