JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Federal officials say one person has died from salmonella poisoning that appears to be linked to ground turkey. As many as 76 people in 26 states, including Missouri, have been made sick by the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the strain is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics. It did not say where the person who died became sick.
The CDC has also declined to say who produced the meat or initiate a recall.
Most persons infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness, according to the CDC's website, usually lasts four to seven days.
The CDC advises consumers to:
- Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry including frozen, fresh ground turkey. Then, disinfect the food contact surfaces using a freshly prepared solution of 1 tablespoon unscented liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water.
- Cook poultry thoroughly. Ground turkey and ground turkey dishes should always be cooked to 165 °F internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer; leftovers also should be reheated to 165 °F. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. The meat of smoked turkey is always pink. Be particularly careful with foods prepared for infants, older adults, and persons with impaired immune systems. For more information, please see this FSIS fact sheet about safe food handling.
- If served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back to the kitchen for further cooking.
- Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked foods. Hands should be washed before handling food, and between handling different food items.
- Refrigerate raw and cooked meat and poultry within 2 hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90° F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking. Refrigerators should be set to maintain a temperature of 40 °F or below.
- Persons who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated ground turkey should consult their health care providers. Infants, older adults, and persons with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness.
For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website http://www.cdc.gov