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Statement by California Department of Health Chief Deputy Director on the Salmonella Outbreak in California

SACRAMENTO - Kathleen Billingsley, chief deputy director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued the following statement today regarding the federal government’s investigation of a multi-state outbreak of foodborne illnesses linked to the possible consumption of ground turkey that has caused six illnesses in California, including one death.

Said Billingsley:

“The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is actively supporting the federal government’s multi-state investigation of Salmonella cases reported and is coordinating with local health departments across California to monitor for additional cases. 

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified ground turkey as a possible source of the salmonella contamination and CDPH is in regular contact with our federal partners as the investigation about the source of contamination continues.

To guard against salmonella infection, CDPH urges consumers to thoroughly cook poultry to 165 degrees, wash all surfaces immediately after contact with raw meat or poultry and to refrigerate raw and cooked meat within two hours of purchasing or cooking.”

More information on the CDC investigation can be found here

Food safety tips can be found here.
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Background  

The illnesses in this outbreak are from Salmonella Heidelberg – a bacteria that is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics. 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak has sickened 77 people in 26 states. The illnesses first emerged in March and have been reported as recently as last month. 

On August 1, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified ground turkey as a possible source of the salmonella contamination. 

In California, one fatality was reported from Sacramento County, which also reported one additional case linked to the outbreak. The other four cases were from the following counties: Los Angeles (1), Riverside (1), San Diego (1) and San Francisco (1). 

Most people infected with Salmonella bacteria develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment. In some cases, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient must be hospitalized.

 

 
 
Last modified on: 8/2/2011 6:15 PM