As of this morning, no recall had been issued, even though the CDC had apparently identified a possible source of the contamination.
That source had yet to be named, because the results were so preliminary, a CDC spokeswoman said.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning - diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps - usually develop 12 to 72 hours after infection.
"The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics," increasing the "risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure," according to Monday's CDC announcement. Infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk for serious complications.
Consumers can protect themselves by properly handling and cooking ground turkey, the CDC says.
(1) "Wash hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry including frozen, fresh ground turkey. Then, disinfect the food contact surfaces using a freshly prepared solution of 1 tablespoon unscented liquid chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water."
(2) Cook poultry, including leftovers, thoroughly, which means to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. "The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety," the CDC says.
(3) "If served undercooked poultry in a restaurant, send it back to the kitchen for further cooking."
(4) "Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods."
For more about the investigation, symptoms and food handling, see the CDC announcement at www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg/080111.
Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or firstname.lastname@example.org.