SALT LAKE CITY — Local health officials confirmed Tuesday that the nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to ground turkey has reached Utah.
A Salt Lake County resident is the first reported case of salmonella related to the outbreak that began nearly five months ago.
Salt Lake Valley Health Department officials said the single case did not result in the person being hospitalized, and the person since has made a full recovery. Officials declined to provide any more information about the case, citing patient privacy laws.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture asked Minnesota-based Cargill to recall 36 million pounds of ground turkey, saying the meat was linked to the death of a 65-year-old California woman and at least 77 illnesses in 26 states.
Julia Hall, food-borne epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Heath, said the Salt Lake County case comes from a secondary DNA strain that also had ground turkey product exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to release the number of illnesses from that secondary strain.
Hall said recalled ground turkey products were distributed in Utah, though they since have been pulled from retailers' shelves. Potentially contaminated products include the Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms, Riverside, Aldi's Fit and Active, Giant Eagle, HEB, Kroger and Safeway brands.
A complete list of recalled products is available on the CDC's website, www.cdc.gov.
"If you've purchased ground turkey, I would definitely go to the CDC website and look up the product and see if it's part of the recall," Hall said. "If you have any contaminated product in your home, throw it away."
Salt Lake Valley Health department spokeswoman Pamela Davenport said Utahns can significantly reduce the risk of illness by following simple guidelines, such as thoroughly washing hands during and after preparing food, cooking foods to the proper temperature and avoiding cross-contamination by keeping raw meat and poultry separate from cooked foods.
Salt Lake County residents are encouraged to report any suspected food-borne illness to the health department by calling 801-468-3468 or filing a report online at www.slvhealth.org.
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10 FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR SUMMER FUN
1. Always wash hands and work areas before, during and after preparing food.
• Proper hand washing is the most important means to prevent the spread of infection.
2. Cook foods to the proper temperature.
• Thoroughly cook meat according to recommended guidelines.
• Always check the internal temperature with a food thermometer.
3. Don't cross-contaminate.
• Keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked foods.
• When taking food off the grill, don't put the cooked items on the same platter that held the raw meat, unless you have washed the platter between uses.
• Keep fresh produce or ready-to-eat foods separated from uncooked meat products, poultry and seafood.
4. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
• Keep the rest of the food hot in the oven (140 degrees and above) or cold in the refrigerator (40 degrees or below) until serving time.
• If you have hot food in the oven, put a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat or center of a casserole.
• Adjust the oven temperature so food stays at an internal temperature of 140 degrees or above. An oven temperature of 200 degrees to 250 degrees should be sufficient to hold the food.
• To check the temperature of meat cooking on a barbecue, remove it from the grill, place it on a clean plate and insert a digital food thermometer through the thickest part of the meat.
5. Store food properly.
• Have enough coolers with ice or frozen gel packs in which to store perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and salads.
• Pack foods right from a refrigerator into coolers.
• Don’t put coolers in car trunks. Carry them inside air-conditioned cars. At picnics, keep coolers in the shade and lids closed. Replenish ice if it melts.
• Use separate coolers for drinks so those containing food won't constantly be opened and closed.
• Pack raw meats, poultry or seafood on the bottom of the cooler to reduce the risk of them dripping on other foods.
• Pack coolers until they are full. Full coolers will stay cold longer than those that are partially full.
• Arrange and serve food on several small platters rather than on one large platter.
• Always replace empty platters rather than adding fresh food to a dish that already had food on it.
• Remember that many people's hands may have taken food from the dish, which was also sitting at room temperature for a while.
6. Only consume pasteurized food products from approved sources.
Safe to eat:
• Pasteurized milk or cream.
• Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, and extra hard grating cheeses, such as parmesan.
• Soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses and Mexican-style soft cheeses (queso fresco, panela, asadero or queso blanco) made from pasteurized milk.
• Processed cheeses.
• Cream, cottage and ricotta cheese made from pasteurized milk.
• Yogurt made from pasteurized milk.
• Pudding made from pasteurized milk.
• Ice cream or frozen yogurt made from pasteurized milk.
Unsafe to eat:
• Unpasteurized milk or cream.
• Soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses and Mexican-style soft cheeses (queso fresco, panela, asadero or queso blanco) made from unpasteurized milk.
• Yogurt made from unpasteurized milk.
• Pudding made from unpasteurized milk.
• Ice cream or frozen yogurt made from unpasteurized milk.
• Products from an unapproved source, such as someone selling door-to-door.
7. Ice, "the forgotten food," needs to be handled properly.
• Use ice scoops to serve ice.
• Keep the ice scoop handle out of ice.
• Don't use ice in drinks in the ice chilling or storing cans and bottles.
• Remember that whatever is on your hands could be transferred to ice.
• Do not store food and ice in the same container.
8. Handle fruits and vegetables carefully.
• Keep fruits and vegetables separated from meat, poultry and seafood.
• Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are not bruised damaged.
• Before cutting fresh fruit, wash and brush with running water, using a clean produce brush, to reduce the number of bacteria present.
• Keep fruits and vegetable refrigerated after cutting.
• Cook sprouts in soups rather than eating them raw in a sandwich or salad. Eating raw sprouts is a risk, just like eating runny eggs.
9. Remember the 2-2-4 rule.1 comment on this story
• Food left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours (one hour if it's 90 degrees or warmer) may not be safe to eat. It's best to throw that food away.
• Store refrigerated leftovers in a shallow container — 2 inches deep or less. Consume or freeze leftovers within four days.
10. Drink water from approved sources only.
• Do not drink from hoses.
• If cooling off by playing in the sprinklers, be sure to wash hands thoroughly.
Source: Salt Lake Valley Health Department