Salmonella outbreak: staying safe

Posted at 2:56 PM, Jul 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-21 14:56:16-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WSYM) - The CDC confirms that a salmonella outbreak is linked to raw turkey products.

FOX 47's Cryss Walker spoke with a local food science specialist about what you can do to keep your family safe.

“The source is the gastrointestinal tract of the bird”, said Dr. Elliot Ryser, a food science professor at Michigan State University.

“It's pretty much that simple. It's something you're never going to get rid of.”

Dr. Ryser says the chances of avoiding salmonella are slim to none.

“About one out of every 20,000 eggs are presumed to be contaminated with salmonella”, said the food science professor.

“About seven percent of turkey carcasses will have salmonella, regardless, and in ground turkey, up to 15 percent.”

According to the CDC, Michigan is one of 26 states in connection to a salmonella outbreak in raw turkey products, which includes ground, whole and cut pieces.

“When these chicks are very young, they can pick up salmonella from the environment”, Dr. Ryser explained.

Health officials say you don’t have to avoid buying raw turkey products or throwing them out.

Experts say the outbreak warning is more of a reminder for people to follow food safety guidelines.

“You need to cook it to an internal temperature about 170 degrees Fahrenheit so you need to use a meat thermometer”, Dr. Ryser continued.

The MSU professor also says the best practice for cleaning raw poultry is to wipe it off with a damp piece of paper towel and not under running water in a sink.

Dr. Ryser told FOX 47 News that promotes cross-contamination and can spread salmonella throughout the kitchen.

The CDC also recommends for you to wash your hands, cooking utensils, and surface areas before and after handling raw poultry.

The CDC says no deaths have been reported in connection to the outbreak.