groundturkey.bmpThe CDC updated the victim count in the Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to ground turkey produced by Cargill.  107 people have been sickened over the past 5 months with antibiotic resistant Salmonella.  Highlights from today’s update:

  • 107 ill in 31 states.
  • 84 of the victims have genetically indistinguishable DNA patterns (by PFGE testing) in the Salmonella bacteria isolated from their stool samples.  The 107 person case count also includes 23 people who have PFGE patterns closely related to the strain that infected the other 84.  These 23 people are outbreak victims too. 
  • These two closely related PFGE patterns of Salmonella Heidelberg were isolated from a ground turkey sample taken from an Ohio patient’s home and retail samples of ground turkey collected as part of routine surveillance through the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS).
  • Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that eating ground turkey is the likely source of this outbreak.
  • The outbreak has resulted in 1 death.

To date, as first reported by Bill Marler, Cargill has recalled approximately 36 million pounds of ground turkey products that were widely distributed across the country.  On three occasions in 2010 (yes, last year) Cargill detected Salmonella Heidelberg during in plant sampling and testing at the Arkansas plant that is the source of the outbreak.