TOLEDO CHRONICLE- The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), along with state and federal regulatory partners, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other state health departments, is participating in an ongoing investigation of possible contamination of ground turkey products with Salmonella Heidelberg. Nationwide, 107 illnesses in 31 states have been preliminarily linked to the voluntarily recalled products.
As of last week, two illnesses associated with the outbreak have been identified in Iowa. The first was a child (0 to 17 years old) from Plymouth County. The second was a middle aged adult male (41 to 60 years old) from Polk County.
It’s important for Iowans to prevent food-borne illnesses like salmonellosis by following these recommendations:
•Do not allow raw meat, fish, and poultry products to come in contact with food that is ready to be served (cooked foods, raw fruits & vegetables, etc.). Always use a separate cutting board and utensils for raw meat, fish and poultry from foods that are ready to be served.
•Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Leftovers should also be reheated to 165 degrees F. Using a food thermometer is the only sure way to check the temperature of prepared foods. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety. Turkey can remain pink even after cooking to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F. The meat of smoked turkey is always pink.
•Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase (one hour if room temperatures exceed 90 degrees F). Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.
•Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds after handling raw meat and poultry. Also wash cutting boards, dishes and utensils with hot soapy water. Clean up spills right away.