By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put out a public health warning on ground turkey. They along with the CDC are working on investigating the cause a salmonella outbreak that has killed one person and sickened 77 others to date from 26 states.
The salmonella strain appears to be resistant to many common antibiotics, which may complicate treatment for infections. Drug resistance can lead to increased risk of hospitalization or serious illness.
“Cultures of four ground turkey samples purchased from four retail locations between March 7 and June 27, 2011 yielded Salmonella Heidelberg with the outbreak strain. Preliminary information indicates that three of these products originated from a common production establishment; the fourth is still under investigation,” CDC reported Monday, failing to name specifics.
Recommendations are to use caution and thoroughly cook ground turkey.
The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. Only by using a food thermometer can one accurately determine that poultry has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F throughout the product. Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F. The meat of smoked turkey is always pink.
Keep food safety in mind before preparing any turkey and remember to wash hands thoroughly, with soap and hot water, then rinse before beginning any food preparation. Hands should be washed again, and rinsed along with all utensils, equipment, and countertops that have been in contact with any raw food (especially raw turkey) before preparing foods. It’s 20 seconds of prevention that can eliminate 90% of foodborne illness.