The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Feb. 15 updated its lengthy investigation into the Salmonella Reading outbreak, which began in July 2018 and has now caused 279 people to become infected across 41 states, including 107 hospitalizations and one death in California. The investigation has linked a number of raw turkey food products, both for humans and pets, to the outbreak.
According to the CDC, illnesses began between Nov. 20, 2017 and have been reported as recently as Jan. 29, 2019. The outbreak strain was identified in raw turkey pet food samples, as well as samples of other raw turkey products and live turkeys. The investigation has yet to reveal a single, common supplier of the infected turkeys or turkey products as a source of the outbreak.
Pet food recalls associated with this outbreak include Woody’s Pet Food Deli, which recalled three lots of its raw turkey pet food for Salmonella in late January 2019, and Raws for Paws Ground Turkey pet food, recalled in February 2018 after two children became ill from Salmonella Reading after being exposed to the contaminated pet food. Raws for Paws issued the recall on approximately 4,000 lbs. of raw turkey pet food products, according to the FDA, suspected to have been contaminated with Salmonella Reading. Both pet food manufacturers are based in Minnesota. Recalled Woody’s raw turkey pet food was sold at its stores in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Woodbury, and Raws for Paws recalled pet foods were sold directly and online to consumers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Four out of 141 people who were interviewed reported falling ill after being exposed to raw turkey pet food, according to the investigation.
Other recalls related to the outbreak include Barron, Wisconsin-based Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales, which recalled more than 300,000 lbs. of raw ground turkey products between Nov. 15 and Dec. 21, 2018.
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