Sickness from Salmonella Heidelberg has been reported in 26 states since March 1, 2011 affecting 77 people and one death. The following states have reported illness so far: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. The CDC reported positive tests for Salmonella Heidelberg on four routine tests, three pointing towards a “common production establishment,” but no company or plant has been named as of yet.
On 7/29/11 USDA-FSIS issued a public health alert advising consumers to cook ground turkey products to 165° F before eating and to follow safety precautions when handling raw meat and poultry.
Help prevent the spread of the salmonella infection by always washing hands and other items that come in contact with raw meat immediately, cooking raw poultry thoroughly and refrigerating promptly after purchase.
If you think you may be infected with salmonella, watch for signs and symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within 12 to 72 hours of exposure to the bacteria. Infection sometimes requires hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics, especially in at-risk populations.
Check the CDC site for updates on this particular salmonella outbreak.
Photo by Julie Van Rosendaal.