Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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While the salmonella outbreak in Turkey warns 164, CDC warns about thawing Thanksgiving

A widespread outbreak of salmonella due to raw turkey has killed one person and sickened 164 people in dozens of states, including New Jersey, federal health officials said Thursday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight people have become ill in the garden state since the outbreak began a year ago. The only death was reported in California.

Officials said they had not identified any specific contaminated turkey products and no callbacks were made.

"The outbreak strain was detected in samples of raw turkey feed, raw turkey products and live turkeys," the CDC said.

Sick people said they ate turkey from various sources and different products, according to health officials.

"The Salmonella Reading outbreak strain is found in live turkey and in many types of raw turkey products, suggesting that it is widely used in the turkey industry," said the agency.

In the meantime, the officials said the outbreak is growing and he pointed out that delays could occur if new cases were reported to health authorities.

"New diseases are still reported weekly," epidemiologist Colin Basler told the Associated Press.

In total, 35 people were ill and 63 people were hospitalized. The CDC said thorough turkey cooking would destroy food-borne diseases, and the agency has not suggested that people avoid eating.

The National Turkish Federation, an industry group, said it worked with civil servants and took steps to fight the outbreak.

"Our members have reviewed their salmonella control programs at every stage of turkey production, working with NTF to combat these and all salmonella strains," the group said in a statement. "The intense focus our members have on this topic has allowed the industry to further strengthen the biosafety and food safety guidelines."

The CDC published more information on the outbreak and offered food safety tips on its website.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Noah Cohen can be reached at ncohen@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @noahyc, Find NJ.com on Facebook.


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