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Drug Resistant Salmonella Found in Turkey Samples

In its first report on a multistate foodborne illness investigation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that Salmonella found in turkey burgers in the homes of two case patients matches the outbreak strain.

The agency also said the outbreak strain is Salmonella serotype Hadar, which is resistant to many antibiotics.

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According to the CDC, state public health authorities have reported resistance of the outbreak strain to several commonly prescribed drugs including ampicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, cephalothin, and tetracycline, meaning those infected are at greater risk for hospitalization and treatment failure.

As of April 1, the CDC said, 12 people infected with Salmonella Hadar had been reported from 10 states, with three cases in Wisconsin and one each in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Washington and Wisconsin. Three people have been hospitalized.

Those ill ranged in age from 1 year to 86 years old. Seven are female. The first illness was reported Dec. 27 and the last March 24.

Epidemiologic investigations in Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin found that at least three of the case patients specifically reported eating Jennie-O turkey burgers the week before their illnesses began. Samples of the ground turkey burgers collected by public health agencies from the homes of patients in Colorado and Wisconsin tested positive for the outbreak strain, CDC said.

On April 1, Minnesota-based Jennie-O Turkey Store recalled approximately 54,960 pounds of frozen, raw turkey burger products. The boxes of “All Natural Turkey Burgers with seasonings Lean White Meat” contain 12 1/3-pound individually wrapped burgers, which have a “use by” date of Dec. 23, 2011. The burgers were packaged on Nov. 23, 2010 and were sold in Sam’s Clubs nationwide.

The CDC said illnesses that occurred after March 18 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported — about two to three weeks.

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Outbreak map from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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