AP NEWS

WHAT ABOUT THE OUTBREAK?

November 19, 2018

This combination of images provided by Hormel Foods on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 shows packaging for four types of Jennie-O ground raw turkey with a P190 designation which have been recalled due to concerns over salmonella. Salmonella in food is estimated to be responsible for 1 million illnesses a year, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. (Hormel Foods via AP)

Since it began last year, the outbreak linked to raw turkey has caused one death and 164 reported illnesses in 35 states. Until last week, regulators hadn’t been able to tie any cases to a specific product or supplier. That’s even though investigators said 29 unidentified slaughtering and processing plants tested positive for the salmonella strain involved.

The recall could be confusing because federal regulations are contradictory. The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn’t prohibit salmonella but can ask companies to recall products once they are clearly shown to be responsible for illnesses. The USDA’s Carmen Rottenberg said the agency can’t take action until it has enough evidence.

According to the USDA, the people who got food poisoning reported eating different kinds of turkey products and brands. Cases also included people who handled raw turkey pet food or worked with live turkeys.

Salmonella spreads through animal feces. It is blamed for an estimated 1 million cases of food poisoning a year, with symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Whether someone gets sick depends on the strength of the strain, the amount and the person’s susceptibility, the USDA notes. But the agency says cooking should kill salmonella.

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