Salmonella Outbreak

by Joshua Mendez

Hope you didn’t get sick!

A week before Thanksgiving this year, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled turkey products associated with a salmonella outbreak.

According to CNN, “Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products after the USDA found that a sample of the products tested positive for a salmonella reading matching the outbreak strain.”

It is still unclear where this outbreak originated from. This issue is occurring nationally and appears to have more than one distributor, which indicates that the salmonella infection is widespread throughout the turkey industry.

According to The Washington Post, “Health officials say the investigation has been complex because the strain has been identified in a wide range of products, and investigators have been interviewing sick people to trace it back to a single source.”

The salmonella infection has been detected in a variety of turkey products including raw turkey pet food, live turkeys, and turkey patties.

This outbreak has already affected many people throughout the country. According to CNN, “more people have gotten sick, bringing the total to at least 164 in 35 states. One person in California has died, and 63 people have been hospitalized.

The salmonella infection usually lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without treatment, but in some unlikely cases the infection can cause death if not immediately treated with antibiotics.

According to Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of salmonella include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps,diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and blood in the stool.

A North Attleboro resident Kayla Lowe explains how she feels about the issue. When asked about the salmonella outbreak before Thanksgiving, she stated, “It’s concerning to hear that most turkey products contain the salmonella infection, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner and leaves me clueless with how  my family and I are going to celebrate Thanksgiving without the tradition of having a turkey.”

Another North Attleboro High School senior, Henry Bosland, claims that he was unaware of the salmonella outbreak in turkeys at Thanksgiving. He stated, “It would’ve been good to be aware of the salmonella (outbreak) at the time, because cross-contamination is ultimately the main issue since the turkey was being cooked which would get rid of the salmonella anyway. Therefore, it would’ve been nice to know before Thanksgiving so everyone who prepared the food would make sure to wash their hands after handling the turkey.”

As a solution to this issue, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned: “If you plan to handle raw turkey, make sure you are extra careful: Wash your hands after touching it. Cook products thoroughly to avoid getting sick. Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, not on the counter.”

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