TRENTON – Two other cases of salmonella associated with raw turkey products have been reported in New Jersey by the CDC, which issued guidelines on meat handling.
The CDC, which is investigating an outbreak in several states, reported a total of 279 cases in 24 states on February 13. Nationally, 107 people were hospitalized and one death was reported in California.
A total of eleven cases were reported in New Jersey. The State Department of Health said in December that the cases were in Essex (2), Hudson (1), Mercer (2), Middlesex (2), Monmouth (1) and Ocean (1). A request for an updated breakout was not returned immediately on Saturday.
A source for the contaminated turkey has not been identified.
Those who have fallen ill have consumed raw turkey from a variety of sources, including raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.
The investigation revealed two recalls: 82 tonnes of raw turkey from Jennie-O in December and a minor recall in January of raw turkey feed for pet food from Woody's Pet Food in Minnesota.
According to USDA Consumption of food contaminated with salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial, food-borne diseases. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever within 12 to 72 hours after consumption of the contaminated product. The disease usually lasts four to seven days. Most patients recover without treatment.
However, in some people diarrhea can be so severe that the patient has to be admitted to hospital. Older adults, infants, and immunocompromised people are more likely to develop a serious illness.
The CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to prevent salmonella from raw turkey:
- Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another.
- Wash hands before and after handling raw turkey products.
- Cook raw turkey meat thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys and groundbaits, including turkey burgers, casserole dishes and sausages, should always be cooked to 165 degrees inside temperature to kill harmful germs.
- Remains should be heated to 165 degrees. Use a food thermometer to check this and place it in the thickest part of the food.
- Do not spread germs from raw turkey in the food preparation zone. Washing raw chicken before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods.
- Wash hands, counters, chopping boards, and utensils thoroughly with warm soapy water after touching raw turkey. If possible, use a separate chopping board for raw turkey and other raw meats.
- The CDC recommends not feeding pets with raw food. Germs like salmonella in raw animal feed can make your pets sick. Your family can also get sick if you handle the raw food or take care of your pet.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ
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