Maui News

Safe Food Handling Urged During Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak

July 20, 2018, 8:45 AM HST
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People infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Reading, by state of residence, as of July 11, 2018 (n=90) PC: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella caused by raw turkey products from a variety of sources.

One case had been reported from Hawai‘i, but the investigation by the Hawai‘i Department of Health was closed after investigators could not find an exposure or link related to the current outbreak.

During the CDC’s investigation of this national outbreak, the Hawai‘i Department of Health is reminding people to keep safe food handling practices in mind when preparing meals to prevent foodborne illnesses.

“In Hawai‘i, we love to eat and enjoy gatherings with potlucks and raw foods, which make us especially susceptible to foodborne illnesses,” said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager for food safety. “We’ll continue working with our federal and private industry partners to investigate any future outbreaks, but in the meantime, people should protect themselves by using best practices when handling food, both in and out of the kitchen.”

DOH recommends the following tips for safe food handling:

  • Make sure that food preparers are in good health with no symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea within the last 72 hours.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food and before eating.
  • Keep your food preparation area clean by washing utensils, cutting boards, and countertops with hot, soapy water.
  • Thoroughly rinse fruits and vegetables under clean, running water.
  • Prevent cross-contamination by separating raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs when you prepare and store foods.
  • Cook food to the right temperature. For example, all poultry, including ground chicken and turkey, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Refrigerate perishable food within two hours to prevent bacteria growth.

For more information and food safety tips, visit the CDC website. To learn more about the current Salmonella outbreak and CDC’s investigation, visit the CDC salmonella information page.

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