Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of iwaspoisoned.com.

Turtle trouble: Outbreak count up 78 percent 10 weeks
Salmonella contamination from pet turtles and a lack of handwashing has reached a total of 66 people in 18 states; 35 percent of which are children younger than 5 years old. Reported illnesses range from March 1, to Oct. 14, and since the CDC’s last update this 78 percent increase in the number of confirmed sick people includes 23 hospitalizations. The case count includes the following states: California, Connecticut, Deleware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington.

Salmonella can be spread from the turtles to food or household surfaces after the handling of turtles or their habitats. Proper handwashing should always be practiced after engaging with turtles or their environment. Turtles with shells less than 4 inches were banned for distribution and retail as pets by the FDA in1975. Specifically in young children, these turtles were frequently linked to Salmonella infections but all sizes of turtles can carry Salmonella bacteria.

The CDC expects that these outbreaks will continue due to the consumers who are unaware of this risk. Simple steps your family and pets can take to stay healthy can be found here.

Outbreak linked to bull calve continues
Lack of handwashing has led to a multistate Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to dairy calves. The CDC reported that the multi-drug resistant pathogen has infected a total of 54 people, 35 percent of which have been hospitalized. Illnesses started on dates ranging from Jan. 27, 2015 to October 15, 2017, and the CDC expects the list to grow because of uninformed calf handlers. This outbreak includes the following 15 states: California, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Since the CDC’s last update on Aug. 2, no deaths have been reported.

The CDC urges livestock handlers to remember important tips including handwashing, and using dedicated clothing, shoes and gloves.  https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-11-16/index.html#handlers

What’s in your fridge? Holiday prep tips
Cleaning your refrigerator fights foodborne illness by preventing bacteria growth, when done correctly. In honor of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, and just in time to make sure pathogens aren’t lurking before you pack in the holiday foods,health organizations compiled a list for reducing the risk of nasty bugs chillin’ your kitchen.

When cleaning the outside of your fridge remember to vacuum the coils and clean under and behind the fridge to help it run most efficiently, and thoroughly clean the front and handles.

For the inside, you may want to use a cooler to keep food cold while cleaning if your fridge is full, check expiration dates and throw away everything that is past its “best by” date, discard any opened packages that have been there longer than one week, discard leftovers that have reach the 3-5 days mark, for any mold or weird smells remember, “when in doubt, throw it out.”

Take out all removable shelves and drawers to wash in the sink with hot soapy water, wipe down the walls and door includig the seals around the doors, let everything air dry before re-assembling, and place a box of baking soda in your newly cleaned fridge to keep odors under control.

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