The Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are investigating a salmonella outbreak that may be linked to ground turkey.
Lola Russell, a CDC spokeswoman, says the outbreak is related to a specific strain called Salmonella Heidelberg.
“We have determined that there are 77 persons who were infected with the outbreak strain in 26 states” from March 1 to Aug., she said.
Five of those cases were in Pennsylvania.
Russell said the CDC uses “shoe-leather detective work” to find out the probable culprit–in this case, ground turkey–and then reports the findings to the Department of Agriculture.
The USDA has issued a public health alert for ground turkey, but has not issued a recall on any specific products.
A representative said the department is still investigating a link to specific brands, products and establishments.
In the meantime, the agency recommends using a meat thermometer and heating all poultry to 165 degrees.