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Salmonella case linked to nationwide ground turkey recall

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Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials have identified one laboratory confirmed Salmonella case in Montana that matches a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections likely caused by eating ground turkey.

On August 3, 2011, an Arkansas firm voluntarily recalled approximately 36 million pounds of ground turkey products due to possible Salmonella contamination. The product subject to recall bears the establishment number P-963 inside the USDA mark of inspection. A detailed recall list is found on the USDA website.

“Since the recall, DPHHS has worked with local health departments to ensure these products are no longer being sold in Montana,” Director Anna Whiting Sorrell said. “However, Montanans should be vigilant and check their freezers for this product and then either return it to the store or throw it out. This is also a good reminder that cooking meat thoroughly helps prevent Salmonella infection.”

For a complete list of where the product was distributed in Montana go to the USDA website

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported August 11, 2011 that a total of 107 persons infected with the outbreak strain Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 31 states. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics.

According to Jim Murphy of the DPHHS Public Health and Safety Division, Heidelberg, like other strains of Salmonella, causes salmonellosis, an acute bacterial infection that can lead to diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Symptoms usually develop within one to five days after eating contaminated food.

“Most cases resolve without the need for medical attention, and antibiotics are not advised for people who get sick but don’t have complications,” Murphy said.

People who have eaten ground turkey and developed severe symptoms should seek advice from a health care provider. Some people with salmonellosis develop serious illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death, Murphy said.

Recommendations for preventing Salmonellosis:
Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water. Clean up spills right away.

Keep raw meat, fish and poultry away from other food that will not be cooked. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry and egg products and cooked foods.

Cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures before eating. The safe internal temperature for ground meat such as beef and pork is 160¬? F, and 165¬? F for poultry, as determined with a food thermometer.

Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if temperatures exceed 90 degrees F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

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