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Russell said the CDC isn’t advising the public to avoid eating ground turkey, but does urge people to cook it properly.

Ground turkey is considered safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. For turkey patties or burgers, internal temperatures on each side should be measured.

Other government advice:

_Refrigerate raw meat and poultry within two hours after purchase, one hour if temperatures in the house exceed 90 F.

_Refrigerate cooked meat and poultry within two hours after cooking.

_Wash hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry.

The CDC estimates that 50 million Americans each year get sick from food poisoning, including about 3,000 who die. Salmonella causes most of these cases and federal health officials say they’ve made virtually no progress against it.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight hours to 72 hours of eating a contaminated product. It can be life-threatening, especially to those with weakened immune systems.

One of the largest outbreaks last year involved salmonella-tainted eggs that may have sickened as many as 56,000. About 2,000 illnesses were reported, but CDC estimates that only a fraction of illnesses are reported in most outbreaks.

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AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this story from Chicago.

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Online:

CDC info on salmonella in ground turkey: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg/080111/index.html

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