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CDC Investigates Turkey Burger-Based Salmonella Outbreak

CDC Investigates Turkey Burger-Based Salmonella Outbreak

The Center for Disease Control reported a collaboration with public health officials in several states, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Hadar infections.

The investigation has been linked to eating turkey burgers -- although investigators were not able to determine consumption of turkey burgers for all patients. FSIS officials determined that at least three of the case-patients in Colorado, Ohio, and Wisconsin reported eating Jennie-O Turkey burgers the week before their illness began.

The CDC also says that samples of Jennie-O ground turkey burgers were collected by public health agencies from the homes of case-patients in Colorado and Wisconsin who tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Hadar, and the turkey burger samples were positive for the outbreak strain.

Jennie-O, located in Willmar, Minnesota, recalled approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products that may be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall includes 4-pound boxes of Jennie-O Turkey Store® "All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat". Each box contains 12 1/3-pound individually wrapped burgers, with a use-by date of "DEC 23 2011" and an identifying lot code of "32710" through "32780". The products were packaged on Nov. 23, 2010 and were distributed to retail establishments nationwide.

The CDC also reported that this may be an antibiotic-resistant version of the outbreak strain, resistant to several clinically useful drugs including ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin, and tetracycline, which can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.

As of April 1, 2011, 12 persons infected with the outbreak strain, of which three have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Most infected with the Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some patients, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

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