Contaminated ground turkey has caused a salmonella outbreak, sickening at least 76 people and killing one.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak began in March 2011. Many people in Michigan, Ohio, Texas, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania have suffered from salmonella Heidelberg. This particular strain of salmonella is especially dangerous, because it is resistant to antibiotics and is difficult to treat.
While the number is not high enough to warrant an official recall, 22 people have been hospitalized, and public health investigators continue to work to identify more cases.
Salmonella poisoning is a type of food poisoning that is caused by contaminated eggs, milk, poultry, meat, and sometimes fruit and produce. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever that begin 12 to 72 hours after eating the contaminated food, and can last anywhere from four to seven days. Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness and even death – especially with this particular strain of salmonella.
Consumers are encouraged to wash their hands, utensils, and surfaces with soap and water after coming in contact with raw poultry or meat. Anyone who thinks they may have been sickened by salmonella poisoning should seek medical attention right away.