Barely a week before Thanksgiving, Consumer Reports is urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to identify the brands of turkey that have been linked to a drug-resistant strain of salmonella in turkey that has been linked to 164 illnesses across 35 states, and one death in California. According to a news release issued by Consumer Reports, this raw turkey salmonella outbreak has been ongoing for a year now. But, neither the turkey industry nor the USDA has released any information about which brands are causing these illnesses.
Products Pose Danger on “Turkey Day”
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, information about which brands of raw turkey are making people sick could potentially save lives. This outbreak of a drug-resistant salmonella strain known as Salmonella Reading, has resulted in one death and 164 illnesses and about half of those who were sickened had to be hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that the outbreak has been found in live turkeys and many varieties of raw turkey products and that this contamination might be widespread in the turkey industry. The USDA has identified the salmonella strain in samples of raw turkey products collected from 22 slaughterhouses and seven processing plants, but has not identified the facilities or the companies that operate them.
Symptoms of Salmonella
Salmonella is the most prevalent food-borne bacteria in the United States and causes the most hospitalizations relating to food poisoning each year. It typically takes between 12 and 72 hours after you’ve eaten the contaminated food to experience symptoms of salmonella poisoning. Some of the common symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and vomiting. While some recover without treatment, others may require drugs such as antibiotics or in severe cases, hospitalization.
How to Stay Safe this Thanksgiving
There are steps that could be taken to prevent food poisoning from turkey products. Here are a few tips to help ensure that you and your family have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving:
- Cook all turkey to an internal temperature of 165° F before eating. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature throughout the turkey and in any stuffing.
- Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water especially after handling raw turkey.
- Do not wash raw turkey before preparing it because it could spread the germs around your kitchen increasing the risk of infection.
- Wash all countertops, cutting boards and other kitchen items that come into contact with the raw turkey.
If you or a loved one has suffered food poisoning as a result of these or other food products, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization and pain and suffering. Contact an experienced California food poisoning lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.