DES MOINES, Iowa - Romaine lettuce isn't the only foodborne illness threat. The Centers for Disease Control has a long list of 2018 food outbreaks being investigated. Turkey, chicken, beef, and even cake mix make the list. (SEE TIPS BELOW)
The Romaine lettuce contamination is E. coli bacteria, both Listeria, and Salmonella are other common illness causing contaminants.
List of Selected Outbreak Investigations in 2018:
- Romaine Lettuce – E. coli O157:H7
- Raw Chicken Products – Salmonella Infantis
- Ground Beef – Salmonella Newport
- Deli Ham – Listeria monocytogenes
- Ground Beef – E. coli O26
- Gravel Ridge Farms Shell Eggs – Salmonella Enteritidis
- Chicken – Salmonella I 4,],12:i:-
- Raw Turkey Products – Salmonella Infections
- Hy-vee Spring Pasta Salad – Salmonella Sandiego
- Fresh Express Salad Mix Sold at McDonald’s Restaurants – Cyclospora
- Del Monte Fresh Produce Vegetable Trays – Cyclospora
- Imported Fresh Crab Meat – Vibrio parahaemolyticus
- Kellogg’s Honey Smacks Cereal – Salmonella Mbandaka
- Pre-Cut Melon – Salmonella Adelaide
- Shell Eggs – Salmonella Braenderup
- Romaine Lettuce – E. coli O157:H7
- Dried Coconut – Salmonella Typhimurium
- Chicken Salad – Salmonella Typhimurium
- Kratom – Salmonella I 4,,12:b:-
- Raw Sprouts – Salmonella Montevideo
- Frozen Shredded Coconut – Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- and Salmonella Newport
The most common food borne illness symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever, but specific pathogens can have specific symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control has tips to keep your Thanksgiving feeds safe
- Fresh or Frozen
If buying a fresh turkey, purchase one to two days before you plan to cook it and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Do not buy fresh, pre-stuffed turkeys. If not properly handled, harmful bacteria that may be in the stuffing can multiply quickly.
Frozen turkeys should be thawed in the refrigerator. Allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds. For example, if you purchase a 12 to 16 pound turkey, it will need three to four days to thaw in the refrigerator. A pre-stuffed frozen turkey should not be thawed. Follow the packaging directions and cook directly from the frozen state.
- Don’t Wash the Bird
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 68 percent of people wash their turkey before cooking; however, USDA does not recommend it because washing raw meat or poultry can splash bacteria around the sink, across countertops and into already prepared foods. Cooking turkey to the correct internal temperature of 165ºF will kill any bacteria, making washing an unnecessary step. The exception to this rule is brining. When rinsing brine off of a turkey, be sure to remove all other food or objects from the sink, layer the area with paper towels and allow a slow stream of water to avoid splashing.
- Use a Food Thermometer
The only way to determine if a turkey (or any meat, poultry or seafood) is cooked is to check its internal temperature with a food thermometer. A whole turkey should be checked in three locations: the innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast. Your thermometer should register 165°F in all three places.
- Clear out Fridge for Leftovers
A day or two before the holiday, be sure to clear out any old food taking up space in your refrigerator. If you aren’t sure if it’s still good to eat, download our FoodKeeper app. It’s available for download on Apple and Android devices, the app provides storage times for more than 400 food items. Once your refrigerator is clear, you will have room to store all of those Thanksgiving leftovers. Do not leave leftovers on the table or countertop for people to graze, because food will enter into the danger zone (temperatures between 40ºF and 140ºF) where bacteria multiply rapidly. Instead, place food in shallow containers and place them in the refrigerator.