I don't know what sounds more gross, steaming deli meat or salmonella. Either way, if you want to avoid getting sick you might want to steer clear of the deli counter at the store or maybe invest in a panini press.

The CDC is currently investigating two separate salmonella outbreaks related to Italian-style deli meats. So far, there have been 36 reported illnesses and 12 hospitalizations. The CDC believes the number of actual cases is much higher. The reports have come from 17 states, including two in Michigan.

So far a recall has not been issued because it's unknown who the source(s) is with the contaminated deli meat. Until the CDC makes that identification, they are asking people to heat their deli meat until it is "steaming hot" or 165° internally, to ensure safety. This is especially important for people considered "high-risk" like those over 65, pregnant, children 5 and younger, and those with a health condition. These people are more likely to catch Salmonella.

The Italian-style meat includes: salami, prosciutto, and any other meat found in antipasto packages or a charcuterie mix.

Courtesy of the CDC
Courtesy of the CDC

The first sicknesses of salmonella typhimurium occurred between May 30 and July 27th of this year. While the second type, salmonella infantis, was between May 9th and June 24, 2021.

State and local public health officials interviewed people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick and collected their shopper records with their consent. Of the 8 people with information, all (100%) ate Italian-style meats, including salami and prosciutto...

Most people who end up getting salmonella recover on their own within a week, with no treatment, which is why many go unreported. Symptoms of the bacteria include diarrhea, high fever, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Food is the main way people get sick with this. Remember to keep raw meats separate from the rest of your food when cooking.

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Last month, the CDC asked the public to do something even more difficult than warming deli meat... not to lick cake batter!

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