WASHINGTON – A public health alert was issued by the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service due to concerns about illnesses caused by Salmonella Heidelberg that may be associated with consumption of ground turkey. This alert was prompted after continuous medical reports, ongoing investigations and testing conducted by various departments of health across the nation determined there is an association between consumption of ground turkey products and an estimated 77 illnesses reported in 26 states.

The illnesses were linked through an epidemiologic investigation and PFGE analyses by state health departments and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC and state health departments are monitoring the outbreak while FSIS focuses its investigation on identifying the contamination source or sources.