Happy Thanksgiving, Salmonella Has Been Found in Raw Turkey all Over the Country
Family time is hard. We get it. This is not, however, a valid excuse to poison your relatives this Thanksgiving. And in light of a recent warning linking a nationwide salmonella outbreak to raw turkey, tainting your meal might be an easier task than you thought.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak has infected 164 people as of November 8, giving way to one death and 63 hospitalizations spanning 35 states. A pre-thanksgiving outbreak of turkey-bourne disease is, of course, peak 2018.
"The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading has been identified in various raw turkey products, including ground turkey and turkey patties," the government agency said. "The outbreak strain has also been found in raw turkey pet food and live turkeys, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry."
In short, we're not sure where it's coming from or where to find it, so any T-bird you purchase in the coming weeks could be at risk. As our holy day of excessive consumption -- or, erm, gratitude -- looms closer, the public health officials are facing mounting pressure to identify any turkey brands confirmed for carrying meat tainted by salmonella strains, but alas, they have no answers to provide.
"We continue to work around the clock with our federal and state public health partners to solve this," USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in a statement. "It is insulting to suggest that the agency would not move forward if we had actionable information."
There's nothing like a nationwide Turkey-based salmonella outbreak to get you in the spirit of giving thanks.
Fortunately, the CDC is providing plenty of tips to ensure that your own turkey is bacteria-free, regardless of the brand.
First things first, you shouldn't allow frozen poultry to thaw on the counter. Let it sit in the fridge. Next, be sure to wash your hands but not the meat itself, as water splashed onto various other surfaces may be infected. Take care to cook it through, no matter who will complain that it's dry at the dinner table. And do your best, in the midst of your Aunt Judy's politically uninformed tirade, to stand by your heroic decision to prevent your family from incurring serious bodily harm.
Happy Thanksgiving, kids. Let's be grateful for side dishes.