Thanksgiving is a special time of year for many — getting to enjoy family and food without the hassle of getting everyone a gift with what’s left of your paycheck is truly something to be thankful for. This year, Thanksgiving may not be as carefree as it usually is due the Salmonella outbreak that’s been linked to raw turkey products in 35 states. 

Photo: Tonicity Fit, LLC

The Center for Disease Control has revealed the outbreak started back in July and since then, 74 more illnesses have been investigated in over 20 states. Those who get infected with Salmonella develop fever, stomach cramps and diarrhea, according to the CDC. While many don’t require treatment, the poisoning can be more harmful to people with weaker immune systems such as the elderly and young children. 

One person has died from the illness thus far and 63 others have been hospitalized due to this particular outbreak. “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,” stated the CDC. 

Due to the popularity of turkey around this time of year, the CDC isn’t recommending people to stay away from turkey for the holidays, instead they’re advising that those who are planning to enjoy turkey to handle the raw turkey carefully and ensure that it’s cooked thoroughly. 

Handling the raw turkey carefully means washing your hands before and after preparing the food. When it comes to cooking the turkey, ensure that it is fully cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Lastly, washing all of your utensils and cooking tools is crucial as to not leave anything lingering in your sinks and amongst your other utensils. 

Photo: Dignity Health St. John's

This outbreak is serious, but it doesn’t have to ruin your awesome festivities. If you’re careful and diligent with your food preparations — this should simply be a warning to continue practicing cleanliness in your kitchens. Get your forks ready, it’ll soon be time to eat. 

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