Ground Turkey Linked To Salmonella Outbreak
August 2, 2011 by USA Post
Ground Turkey Linked To Salmonella Outbreak, The government is struggling to find the source of a salmonella outbreak probably related to the ground turkey that has killed one and sickened dozens more.
Finding the source of an outbreak has not been easy, the government has been pursuing for months to disease. The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the safety of meat, said he is still investigating who produced the meat, and the department has not initiated a recall.
Health officials from California said Tuesday that the death was no one in Sacramento County. Seventy-six people in 26 states have become sick of the same strain of the disease.
The disease can be traced back to March, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that the cultures of minced turkey meat from four outlets between March 7 and June 27 showed that contamination with the same strain of salmonella, although the samples were not specifically linked to the disease. The agency said preliminary information showed that three of the samples have been linked to the very creation production but not the retailers or manufacturers.
The silence of government officials can be attributed to USDA guidelines that make it difficult to investigate and recall the Salmonella-contaminated poultry. Since salmonella is common in poultry, is not illegal for the meat being contaminated with the pathogen. Officials should be directly linked salmonella illnesses in a producer or establishment that is hard to do because people do not always remember what you ate or where you bought it.
In this case, it appears that officials have not been able to demonstrate the link between salmonella samples is – despite being the same strain – and 77 people became ill. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a warning about the disease last week telling consumers to cook the turkey properly, which can decrease the chance of salmonella poisoning. But the department has not given warnings to consumers about the source of contaminated meat.
“Despite an extensive investigation by FSIS and the CDC to date, there is little epidemiological information available at this time that these diseases conclusively links to any product or establishment,” said spokesman Neil Gaffney FSIS Tuesday. “Without enough specific data would not be competent to issue a recall notice.” Gaffney said the agency is committed to finding the source of the outbreak and taking measures to protect public health.
Art Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said the government’s handling of the epidemic raises ethical questions about why the public was not noticed before.
“We must protect public health that is his first and primary value -. No industry, no other objective they have to realize how fast they think there is reasonable evidence for concern,” said Caplan.
He said the uncertainty about the source of the outbreak may explain the long silence, but added “the moral obligation is to fulfill the word as soon as there is evidence of a problem.”
Diseases spread throughout the country. The states with the largest number were sickened in Michigan and Ohio, each of 10 diseases, while nine of the diseases were reported in Texas. Illinois had seven, six in California and Pennsylvania for five years.
Other states have between one and three reported illnesses associated with the outbreak, according to CDC: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
A chart on the CDC website shows the cases have occurred every month since early March, with peaks in May and early June. The last cases were reported in mid-July, although the CDC said some recent cases have not been published.
CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said Tuesday that it could take three to four weeks to confirm a single case. The identification of an outbreak can last much more than when cases of foodborne diseases occur sporadically, in several states, as has happened in the current outbreak, he said.
Dr. Mark Dworkin, an expert in public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said it is not surprising that the government’s warning came months after the first cases were identified.
Outbreaks of foodborne disease, where “everyone gathered at a church dinner and ate the same food” are easier to identify than those related to people in many states, he said. “The problem we have is our food is contaminated too often. It is unacceptable that such a large percentage of ground turkey has a potentially deadly pathogen.”
The ground turkey is considered safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees during cooking. For hamburgers or turkey burgers, internal temperatures of each side should be measured. The Government also advised to refrigerate the meat immediately and wash hands for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat or poultry.
The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these cases and federal health officials say they have made virtually no progress against them.
The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be deadly for some with weakened immune systems.
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