Just cook it doesn’t cut it: 2 dead 238 sick in outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella linked to raw turkey

CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.

As of December 18, 2018, 216 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 38 states and the District of Columbia.

84 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.

In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

On November 15, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales in Barron, Wisconsin recalled approximately 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products.

On December 21, 2018, Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, LLC, in Faribault, Minnesota recalled approximately 164,210 pounds of raw ground turkey products.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified that could account for the whole outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has identified an additional 22 ill people infected with the same DNA fingerprint of Salmonella Reading bacteria in Canada.

337 sick: Academics to dine with students after food poisoning at Van university in Turkey’s east

Hurriyet Daily News writes the senate of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University in the eastern province of Van has decided that one academic will dine with students every day after dozens of students living in a dormitory suffered from food poisoning last week.

On Nov. 29, a total of 337 students were hospitalized following complaints such as nausea and high fever. A special commission was established to investigate the suspected poisoning and officials from the local health and provincial directorate of agriculture collected samples from the food and the water students consumed.

While the investigation is still ongoing the university’s governing body decided that each day one academic staff should eat together with the students.

“Academics and students will share the same meal and the table to ease concerns and possible provocations. We have to stand by our students when they have concerns,” Peyami Battal, the rector, said. Battal was the first academic to dine with the students following the senate’s decision.

Turkish military under spotlight as food poisoning and accidental deaths increase

Supplying a safe, nutritious, and increasing local food supply to any military outfit is a challenge.

I was privileged for a few years to provide my thoughts to U.S. military food safety types once or twice a year while at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

I made some lasting friendships, and deeply respect the challenges they faced.

Zulfikar Dogan of Ahval News writes that when the Turkish government issued a series of decrees reshaping the country’s institutions in the aftermath of the July 2016 coup attempt, none of the bodies it set its eye on were more significant than the Turkish Armed Forces.

The radical changes implemented in the military came under the spotlight last week when 21 commando trainees in the western province of Manisa were hospitalised with food poisoning. This followed mass outbreaks of food poisoning in May and June last year, again in training facilities in Manisa, where more than 1,000 soldiers became ill and one died.

Similar cases of mass food poisoning took place in other barracks across the country around the same time. Several government-linked catering companies have already lost their contracts, and the defence minister at the time, Nurettin Canikli, resolved to review catering tenders and introduce a new procurement procedure.

Now, spurred by this month’s poisonings, Özgür Özel, a member of parliament for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), directed a series of questions in the assembly to Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

He asked whether the new procurement system described by Canikli last year had been put in place, and for information on the food supply at the Manisa barracks and on the companies involved in catering. He also demanded answers on the last date of inspection at the barracks and on the truth of claims that detachments tasked with checking food had been shut down.

But the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rejected opposition proposals to create a special investigation commission and convene the Committee on National Defence in response to the cases of food poisoning.

After the cases of food poisoning, the Turkish Medical Association released a statement drawing attention to the vacuum left when the military medical institutions were turned over to the Ministry of Health. The association called for these institutions to be reopened and returned to the Turkish Armed Forces.

The Turkish Retired Non-Commissioned Officers Association gave its own statement on the matter, stressing that military doctors were soldiers as well as doctors and that the decrees had made the Turkish Armed Forces the only military in the world that did not have dedicated hospitals and doctors. The association also demanded to know whether private companies would be responsible for catering to Turkey’s troops in wartime.

The points Başbuğ and these associations raise are well illustrated by the response to the cases of mass food poisoning in May and June of last year. Since there was not adequate space in Health Ministry facilities to treat the thousands of poisoned troops, hundreds were forced to receive treatment on stretchers outside hospitals.

Similar scenes were replayed after the food poisoning this month. Handing military decision making to the civilian bureaucracy and dissolving military education and medical institutions has resulted in increased casualties.

Lets get the food safety science right at Thanksgiving

I’ve written before that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. A mid-week day off (which often stretches to a whole week of food, football and hanging out) is the way to go.
My parents make their annual pilgrimage from Southern Ontario to take in the whole turkey week Black Friday festivities as well.
The week also provides a really great opportunity to take food safety pictures (right, exactly as shown) and talk food safety stuff. The yearly blitz of holiday interviews have started – and so has Dr. Bob, suburban Chicago columnist.
A valiant effort at tackling food safety in the holidays, Dr. Bob misses the mark with a few things:
He starts with,
Emergency rooms across the state and nation are gearing up for a busy week following the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, many family get-togethers will spread more misery than joy. And I am not speaking of those troublesome individuals that exist in all families that drive many of us to contemplate violent acts. Rather, I am alluding to seasonal foodborne illnesses, which will put a quick end to the Thanksgiving holiday for tens of thousands of families nationwide and several hundred here in our own state.
That’s a great lede – but show your work here Dr. Bob, tens of thousands of hospitalizations might be an over reach here – even if we evenly divide the estimated 128,000 hospitalizations a year we get to a weekly average of 2,500 – I don’t think there’s data to show that Thanksgiving is a 5x or 10x riskier time of the year.
More from the good doctor,
Foodborne illnesses fall into two general categories: intoxication and infection. Foodborne intoxication is caused by ingestion of foods that contain a toxin that may be naturally present in the food, introduced by contamination with poisonous chemicals, or produced by bacteria or fungi growing on foods. Toxins may also be present in some fish and shellfish that have consumed toxin-producing algae. Examples can include contamination with cleaning agents, pesticides and herbicides as well as heavy metals.
Uh, I’m a bit lost – are we talking food borne illness or other stuff now.
Here’s the best though,
It is a well-accepted fact that 100 percent of poultry products are contaminated with salmonella. You read right, 100 percent of the Thanksgiving turkeys carry salmonella. It is only the cooking to proper temperatures and the avoidance of cross contamination that stands between health and sickness.
Not quite, FSIS actually does a great job in reporting contamination levels of Salmonella in poultry, and shows that in turkey contamination is much lower (like only 1.7% positive in turkey). And campy is around the same.
I’m all for talking about food safety and risk reduction and using the holidays as a hook – but lets get the numbers right, avoid the fake news, and give people real risk information.

1 dead, 163 sick from multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products

In the run up to the beginning of the five-week orgy of food and shopping in the U.S. known as Thanksgiving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella infections linked to raw turkey products. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is monitoring the outbreak.

Seventy-four more ill people from 26 states were added to this investigation since the last update on July 19, 2018.

As of November 5, 2018, 164 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading have been reported from 35 states.

63 people have been hospitalized, and one death has been reported from California.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that raw turkey products from a variety of sources are contaminated with Salmonella Reading and are making people sick.

In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations. Three ill people lived in households where raw turkey pet food was fed to pets.

The outbreak strain has been identified in samples taken from raw turkey pet food, raw turkey products, and live turkeys.

A single, common supplier of raw turkey products or of live turkeys has not been identified.

The outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading is present in live turkeys and in many types of raw turkey products, indicating it might be widespread in the turkey industry. CDC and USDA-FSIS have shared this information with representatives from the turkey industry and asked about steps that they may be taking to reduce Salmonella contamination.

Always handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to prevent food poisoning. This outbreak is a reminder that raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick.

CDC is not advising that consumers avoid eating properly cooked turkey products, or that retailers stop selling raw turkey products.

CDC advises consumers to follow these steps to help prevent Salmonella infection from raw turkey:

Wash your hands. Salmonella infections can spread from one person to another. Wash hands before and after preparing or eating food, after contact with animals, and after using the restroom or changing diapers.

Cook raw turkey thoroughly to kill harmful germs. Turkey breasts, whole turkeys, and ground poultry, including turkey burgers, casseroles, and sausage, should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F to kill harmful germs. Leftovers should be reheated to 165°F. Use a food thermometer to check, and place it in the thickest part of the food.

Don’t spread germs from raw turkey around food preparation areas. Washing raw poultry before cooking is not recommended. Germs in raw poultry juices can spread to other areas and foods. Thoroughly wash hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils with warm, soapy water after they touch raw turkey. Use a separate cutting board for raw turkey and other raw meats if possible.

Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes, or in the microwave. Never thaw your turkey by leaving it out on the counter.

CDC does not recommend feeding raw diets to pets. Germs like Salmonella in raw pet food can make your pets sick. Your family also can get sick by handling the raw food or by taking care of your pet.

Food safety in food service: We’re on a mission from god

Now they’re citing my lab in Turkey.

OK, I had a bunch of qualified people, and I’m putting the band back together to write a book.

These Turkey folks don’t know shit.

Neither do lots of others.

The purpose of this study is to examine the food safety knowledge of foodservice staff in fast-food restaurants in a Turkish context. Data for this empirical investigation was gathered from a sample of full-time foodservice staff at the different fast-food restaurants in Ankara/Turkey. Respondents self-administered the questionnaires. The total number of 165 questionnaires was obtained in the research location. Results based on the descriptive statistics, staff works in fast food restaurants in Ankara are not knowledgeable on foodborne/food poisoning and the training rate is not at the satisfactory level. In addition, t-test result demonstrates that female respondents are more knowledgeable compared to males. This paper provides implications for managers in terms of minimising the negative effects of foodborne diseases and maximising the employees’ food safety knowledge in a service setting where the food industry is increasing. Theoretically, the current study by examining the food safety knowledge of restaurant staff and providing insights into the foodborne disease in a developing touristic destination lends further contribution to the related literature.

Assessing the food safety knowledge of fast-food restaurant staff in Ankara/Turkey: some strategies from managerial approach

Middle East Journal of Management, https://doi.org/10.1504/MEJM.2018.095583

Kerem Kaptangil, Mustafa Daskin

https://www.inderscienceonline.com/doi/abs/10.1504/MEJM.2018.095583

Don’t wash your chicken or turkey before cooking

Washing chicken or turkey for that matter is a cross-contamination nightmare. Cook your bird to 74C (165F) and verify with a digital tip sensitive thermometer. No need for washing. If you’re in Canada, the temperature to inactivate Salmonella mysteriously jumps to 82C (180F) for whole poultry, depending on the jurisdiction.

No wonder the public gets confused.

It is true that people are what they eat. The foods we eat say a lot about our general body’s health. However, before eating any food, people are always advised to wash them, even before
cooking. However, did you know that there are some food types you don’t need to wash before cooking? Well, there are some foods you will wash before cooking while others should just be cooked straight away. Here are three major foods you should never wash before cooking:
Chicken
Washing chicken before cooking it is very wrong. People think rinsing a chicken removes germs and bacteria from it, which is never true. Salmonella, which commonly grows on chicken will only be killed when chicken is cooked at temperatures above 165 degrees. Washing it does nothing good for the chicken.
Eggs
Many people tend to wash eggs before breaking them to cook. However, this is just a waste of time as eggs have their own protective layer that prevents any bacteria from getting inside. More so, washing the eggs might remove this protective layer exposing them to contamination which will make them go bad faster.
Fish
People think washing fish will remove any bacteria on it. Washing fish will only be robbing it of its flavor. Just like the bacteria in chicken will be killed when cooing it, so will the bacteria in fish.
Therefore, before washing these three foods, just know that you will be washing off their flavor.

Everyone has a camera, especially for selfies: UK couple who claimed holiday was ruined by food poisoning caught out by posting snaps on Facebook

Martin Naylor of the Mirror reports a brazen couple claimed they fell in with food poisoning while on holiday – only to put up pictures of themselves having fun and eating luxury meals on social media.

Leon Roberts and Jade Muzoka pleaded guilty to fraud and have been warned by a judge that they can face jail.

The couple falsely claimed their holiday in Turkey was ruined in a scam that could have cost travel firm TUI £50,000 had they not been caught out, the Derby Telegraph reports.

But despite the pair discontinuing their story before a penny was paid out, the company chose to prosecute.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “It would fly in the face of common sense to regard this as an isolated incident.

“It is a real problem in Great Britain and has a real impact on the genuine persons who suffer that make genuine claims and put those who do suffer illness on holiday under suspicion.

“This (the offences) is outside the (sentencing) guidelines because it encourages a tsunami of false claims.

“All (sentencing) options are open at this stage and this is a serious case and it may be that a custodial sentence will follow to show the importance of your wrongdoing.”

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court was told how Roberts, 37, of Alvaston, and Muzoka, 27, from Sinfin, spent a week at the luxury Cornelia Golf Resort and Spa, in Turkey, in July 2015.

The following April, the pair submitted claims through their solicitor saying they both fell ill during their time away.

But investigators discovered photographs of the couple, who are no longer together, lounging by the pool, drinking and eating dinner.

Maybe don’t get turkey from a pizza joint

The Daily Tribune News reports that preliminary laboratory findings by the Georgia Department of Public Health have identified the food source responsible for the salmonella outbreak at last month’s catered Thanksgiving meal for Toyo Tire employees.

According to Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson Logan Boss, preliminary findings implicate catered turkeys served by Angelo’s New York Style Pizza & Bistro.

Boss added the laboratory investigation is ongoing.

Five people were hospitalized and more than 70 were treated at area medical facilities in connection with the salmonella outbreak at the catered meal on Nov. 14-15.

Angelo’s New York Style Pizza & Bistro reopened last week after the restaurant was reinspected and received a perfect score.

Pop-up turkey thermometers can suck

I usually pull the pop-up thermometer out of my bird when I cook it. I’m a digital-tip-sensitive thermometer kind of guy. Last Thursday, while roasting this year’s turkey, I left mine in, as a bit of an experiment for my graduate student Minh, like last year’s Consumer Reports pop-up test:

We tested 21 pop-up thermometers in whole turkeys and turkey breasts. Our testing covered pop-up timers bought online and put into place by cooks before sliding the bird into the oven, and models pre-inserted in the meat at the processing plant. To determine the pop-ups’ accuracy, we also measured the internal temperature of the meat with a calibrated reference thermometer. Our findings may make a few eyebrows pop:

Self-inserted and manufacturer-inserted timers generally “popped” in our tests at internal temperatures above 165° F—the minimum safe temperature for all poultry. But three timers popped up when meat was still below that safe zone, one as low as 139.5° F.

Here’s mine (right, exactly as shown). Thanks pop-ups, I was only 20F (and 75 min of roasting) short.