One person has died and 77 people have been sickened in the United States by an outbreak of drug-resistant salmonella that likely originated in ground turkey, US authorities said.
"A total of 77 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 26 states between March 1 and August 1, 2011," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement late Monday.
"Eating ground turkey is the likely source of this outbreak."
Just over a third of those infected with the bacteria were hospitalized. The illnesses are being linked to a virulent strain of salmonella that has been around for decades.
"The outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg is resistant to many commonly prescribed antibiotics; this antibiotic resistance can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals."
The CDC urged consumers to cook meat thoroughly to a final temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 Celsius), and said it was continuing its investigation in an attempt to identify the exact source of the bacteria.