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CDC Reports Salmonella Reading Outbreak: Urges Food Preparation Precautions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
wash-hands-well . CDC wellAaron E. Glatt, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA

Chairman, Department of Medicine & Hospital Epidemiologist
South Nassau Communities Hospital
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Oceanside, NY 11572 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the CDC alert regarding a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Reading infections linked to raw turkey products?   Is this Salmonella strain different or more dangerous than other Salmonella food poisoning outbreaks? 

Response: The CDC has reported that as of yesterday, there have been 90 people infected with Salmonella Reading from 26 states. No deaths have been reported, but 40 patients to date required hospitalization. There was a previous outbreak of S. Reading in 2016 related to contaminated alfalfa sprouts, but this organism is not that much different nor is it more virulent than many other salmonella strains. 

MedicalResearch.com: How does Salmonella Reading cause infections pose an infection risk for consumers?

Response: Ingestion or potential contact with food products containing raw turkey is the likely source of exposure. Well cooked turkey does not pose any risk.

MedicalResearch.com: What should consumers do to protect themselves and their families from infection with Salmonella Reading?

CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

  • Wash your hands.Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.
  • Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs.Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.
  • Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas.Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.
  • CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonellain raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

MedicalResearch.com: Should poultry be washed before cooking?  What should be used to clean the sink or kitchen preparation areas after preparing turkey or chicken?

  • Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended.
  • Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Good kitchen hygiene is essentially to maintaining good health. Careful attention to appropriate handling, cooking and serving of food is the best way to prevent foodborne illness. Common sense is not very common!


Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Infections Linked to Raw Turkey Products
July 19 2018

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Last Updated on July 20, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD