Federal and state health officials who are investigating a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella linked to a variety of raw turkey products and based on detection in live birds are warning that the strain might be widespread in the turkey industry.
So far, 90 infections from Salmonella Reading have been reported in 26 states, according to an announcement today from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to turkey products in the past, especially ground turkey. In 2011 a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to ground turkey sickened at least 136 people in 34 states. The same year, a Salmonella Hadar outbreak linked to turkey burgers resulted in at least 12 infections in 10 states. The strains in both outbreaks were resistant to several antibiotics.
The federal government doesn’t classify Salmonella as an adulterant in meat, but food safety groups have called for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to classify certain antibiotic-resistant strains as adulterants.