Recent Washington State Salmonella Outbreak May be tied to a Larger National Outbreak linked to Turkey
Washington state has recently been tied to a multi-state raw turkey salmonella outbreak. In particular, the bacteria known as Salmonella Reading has made more than 350 people ill in over 40 states nationwide. Of these individuals exposed to this all too common bacterium, nearly one-third became ill enough to receive hospital care. Although the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognized the outbreak to be over back in April of 2019, they are continuing to evaluate other cases of illness caused by this serotype, or, distinct variation of a species of bacteria. Salmonella Reading is just one of a multitude of serotypes.
So far, seven individuals in the state of Washington have become ill with what is considered a relatively close strain of the one causing nationwide illness. The seven individuals have all become ill since April 24, 2019, having attended the same private function on April 20, 2019. The individuals having contracted Salmonella bacteria partook of shared dishes prepared by other guests. Although health officials were not able to test the multitude of meats, including turkey, present at the function, all having been consumed or tossed by the time the illnesses surfaced, the resulting illnesses either shared the same markings of the strain or closely resemble that of the one found in the national outbreak.
Subsequent visits to facilities where some of the meat was prepared raised no red flags at that time. Findings indicate that the meats were probably held at the correct temperature.
According to one food poisoning lawyer, explaining outbreaks: “When a similar strain of a virus or bacteria is found, especially when the similarities are in the strain itself, partnered with geographic overlaps, officials often consider this to be part of one outbreak.” According to the national Salmonella lawyer, there are over 2200 known strains of Salmonella, of which Salmonella Reading is only one.
In this case, the Salmonella Reading outbreak has impacting nearly all 50 states, the strains have shared a genetic fingerprint or at minimum been associated with raw turkey which is susceptible to salmonella. No single supplier has been identified. Health officials, including the CDC, recommend cooking turkey to the proper temperature of 165° and washing hands and surfaces extremely well. Also, avoid cross-contamination with other foods. Salmonella Reading, which is potentially fatal to some individual’s health, is at the very minimum very disruptive to others. Symptoms generally include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain, but can include symptoms for years if a person acquires post-infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome or post-infectious Reactive Arthritis. Consumers are urged to see a health care provider when any foodborne illness is suspected.