CDC Investigation Notice: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Raw Turkey Products

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 15, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

An updated CDC investigation notice regarding a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products is now available: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/reading-07-18/index.html

Updates:

  • Since the last update on December 21, 2018, 63 more ill people were reported, bringing the total to 279 ill people from 41 states and the District of Columbia.
  • 107 people have been hospitalized.
  • One death was reported from California in a previous update. Questions about the death should be directed to the California Department of Public Health.
  • Illnesses in this outbreak occurred from November 20, 2017 to January 29, 2019.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canadaexternal icon has identified ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Reading bacteria in Canada.
  • The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties. The outbreak strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry.
  • Several turkey products have been recalledexternal icon because they might have been contaminated with Salmonella.
  • A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak. The outbreak strain could be present in many facilities and suppliers, meaning many brands and types of foods containing raw turkey could be affected.
  • CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and requested that they take steps to reduce Salmonella contamination in turkeys.
  • This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Advice to consumers:

  • Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning.
  • With the exception of the recalledexternal icon turkey products, CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.
  • General ways you can prevent Salmonella infection include good handwashing and cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F.  Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey to check temperature. For turkey burgers, insert thermometer in the side of the burger, into the thickest part of the patty in the center.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets.
  • More prevention advice here: https://www.cdc.gov/features/turkeytime/index.html

People get sick from Salmonella 12 to 72 hours after swallowing the germ and experience diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.

Thank you,
CDC News Media Branch
404-639-3286
media@cdc.gov

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESexternal icon

CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: February 15, 2019