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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Salmonella in ground turkey deadly dozen sick


Health officials are asking people to cook their ground turkey to at least 165 degrees after a salmonella outbreak that has killed one person and sickened at least 76 other people, including 10 in Michigan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture addresses security issues and the meat until it is issuing a recall, but said Tuesday they will continue to monitor cases. U.S. Centers for Disease Control announced the agency is working with public health officials in several states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service following the outbreak.

Michigan and Ohio had the highest number of sick, at 10 each. 

One person died in California, authorities said.

The CDC reports 77 people were infected with a strain of salmonella in 26 states between March 1 and Monday.

"Among the people whom information was available, illnesses began from 09 March," the CDC said in a statement. "Sick people are aged less than 1 year to 88 years old." 

Kelly Niebel, spokeswoman for the Department of Community Health Michigan, said that so far have been sickened four people in Detroit, Wayne County's two and one in the Bay, Berrien, Genesee and Eaton counties. 

Collaborative efforts between federal, state and local public health officials determined that consumption of ground turkey is the likely source of the outbreak, according to the CDC. 

Health officials have bought ground turkey four retail stores between 07 March and 27 June and identified the strain. Three of the four came from the same processing plant. The room is still under investigation. However, the CDC would not give the name or location of the plant. 

"It is a situation in which the CDC has to balance conflicting interests," said Craig Harris, a professor in the department of sociology at Michigan State University. "No security interest of consumers and I think they tried to address that by saying" If you have some ground turkey should take into account that may be contaminated. " 

That puts the burden on consumers, who are now responsible to be very careful in preparing turkey, taking food to the store or throw it away. 

"In the past, CDC and other agencies' food safety measures have been criticized heavily to identify a company that later they could not support the source of the outbreak," said Harris. "In this case, are perhaps err on the side of caution regarding the identification of a particular company. This then causes the effect of shifting the burden to customers." 

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