CFA and other members of the Safe Food Coalition submitted the following letter to Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, urging him to take action to protect consumers from a growing outbreak of Salmonella illnesses linked to raw turkey products. As of the letter’s writing, the Salmonella Reading outbreak has sickened 164 people in 35 states, resulting in at least 63 hospitalizations and one death. The first cases were reported nearly a year ago in November 2017. Despite USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) having detected the outbreak strain in several turkey slaughter and processing facilities since then, the agency has not requested a recall, nor taken any enforcement action to prevent turkey products adulterated with the outbreak strain from reaching consumers.
To protect consumers, the letter requests that USDA issue a public health alert with the names of the establishments found to have harbored the outbreak strain. With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, providing this information now is critical to protect public health.