A Mayo Clinic expert says salmonella is a concern not just this Thanksgiving, with a recall impacting ground turkey, but should be every year.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh explained that salmonella, ” Can cause diarrhea, but it can also cause more severe infection in people who are sicker or have poor immune systems, or otherwise have lots of medical problems to begin with.”
He added that one key to staying healthy is careful food preparation – making sure that other foods don’t come into contact with countertops and cutting boards that have been used for any raw meat.
“Any sort of raw meat needs to be carefully handled, and anything that has touched that raw meat should be considered contaminated, including your hands,” Tosh said, “Whether it’s uncooked ham, turkey or a piece of beef, really consider everything that has touched to be contaminated and clean it well.”
Tosh also said people should try not to spread germs at the holidays. He said, “Make sure you practice good food handling practices, but also good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, so that while you’re preparing foods, you are preventing cross-contamination by keeping things clean, especially if it’s touched raw meat. Also, avoid going to family gatherings if you are sick. If you absolutely have to go, do what you can to keep your hands clean. Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow rather than into your hands.”
He added that cleaning food prep areas thoroughly between projects and cooking turkey to an internal temperature of 165 degrees are also important steps.
Today the USDA announced that Long Phung Food Products is recalling Vietnamese style ready-to-eat pork products that may be adulterated with Listeria.
The Jenny-O Turkey Store has also recalled ground turkey connected to possible salmonella contamination.
CDC officials have also cautioned people to avoid eating romaine lettuce completely amid an E. coli outbreak.