LOS ANGELES • More than 200 people from across the United States have fallen ill, 84 of them hospitalised, from an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey products that prompted a second voluntary recall last Friday, the US government said.
The latest food-safety advisory from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta came as millions of Americans planned their Christmas holiday menus, updating a notice for contaminated turkey issued early last month.
Since then, 52 more people in 26 states and the District of Columbia have become sick from salmonella-tainted turkey, bringing the total number of documented cases to 216 in 38 states and the district. One death from the outbreak, which began in October, was reported in California, the CDC said.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has reported an additional 22 turkey-related salmonella infections in four provinces - British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick - believed to be linked to the US outbreak.
The common strain of salmonella associated with the illnesses has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey, turkey patties, live turkeys and raw turkey pet food, indicating it may be widespread in the turkey industry.
No single supplier has been identified.
Symptoms, which typically appear 12 to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria, include diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps. Most people recover within a week.
Infection can best be prevented by thoroughly washing hands after handling poultry, by cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 74 deg C, and by thawing frozen turkeys in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature, the CDC said.