Salmonella Outbreak: How You Can Keep Your Family Safe

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While officials are scrambling to confirm the source of a new deadly Salmonella outbreak, consumers should be on heightened awareness to protect themselves and their families against the bacterial infection.

Since March of this year there have been a total of 77 identified cases and one death due to an outbreak of the Salmonella bacteria that experts believe came from tainted ground turkey. This strand of the bacteria is particularly dangerous due to its resistance to antibiotic treatments.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a significant number of the infected persons reported eating ground turkey prior to their illnesses, making this the likely source of the infections. However, officials investigating the case have yet to prove the link through testing of ground turkey products.

Experts say that the biggest challenge at this point is many consumers are unable to recall the source of the meat. Therefore, until the CDC can identify a specific manufacturer or distributor responsible for this Salmonella outbreak – no recall can go into effect.

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In the meantime health officials are recommending that consumers take extra precautions against infection by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Immediately wash all surfaces including counter tops, hands, and utensils with soap and water after handling raw meat.
  • Disinfect all surfaces with a solution of 1tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  • When cooking poultry make sure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. DO NOT go by the color of the meat alone.
  • Use caution when dining out in a restaurant. If you are served undercooked poultry return it to the kitchen for further cooking.
  • Avoid cross-contamination of fresh foods with raw meat.
  • Make sure to refrigerate raw and cooked poultry within 1-2 hours after purchase in an environment at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

  • Signs You or a Family Member May Be Infected

    The symptoms of Salmonella typically present somewhere between 12-72 hours after the infection has occurred. One may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramping, and nausea. In some cases, the infection can spread to the blood stream and cause organ failure or even death.

    It is important to notify your healthcare provider immediately if you think you or someone you know has been infected with Salmonella. With proper antibiotic treatment most recover from the illness within 7 days.

    For more information on the outbreak visit the CDC.com

    Updated 8/5/2013

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