The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been following a salmonella outbreak across the United States for months, tracking contamination from African dwarf frogs that are sold as pets, fresh imported papayas, and, this week, some 36 million pounds of Cargill ground turkey. Now, the federal agency is saying that the current strain of salmonella may be more resistant to antibiotic treatment than previous strains.
Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping. CNN is reporting that 22 of the 78 people diagnosed with the bacteria during the current outbreak have been hospitalized, and one person has died. The bacteria has been detected in 26 states. Most recover without treatment in four to seven days, but public health officials warn that this strain is resistant to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin (commonly known as Cipro), which is prescribed when patients develop severe infections from salmonella.
The CDC offers the following recommendations to keep your family safe from salmonella. Remember to:
- Clean. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops.
- Separate. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
- Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate food that will spoil.
- Don't prepare food for others if you have diarrhea or vomiting.
- Be especially careful preparing food for children, pregnant woman, those in poor health, and older adults.