The toll from an outbreak of a dangerous form of salmonella in ground turkey has climbed.

In an update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it now has reports of 107 cases in 31 states, including one previously disclosed death in California. Earlier accounts had put the number of people affected at about 80 in 26 states.

Experts say, however, the actual number of people sickened is probably far higher, since milder cases — whose typical symptoms include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea — often aren’t brought to the attention of medical authorities.

The outbreak of salmonella Heidelberg, an antibiotic-resistant strain, prompted last week’s recall by Cargill Inc. of 36 million pounds of ground turkey, one of the nation’s biggest meat recalls.

The CDC cautioned that, even though contaminated ground turkey is being removed from grocery stores, consumers still may have it in their homes and should make sure not to eat any of the products included in the recall.

The agency urges consumers, as a general practice, to protect themselves by cooking turkey and other poultry to internal temperatures of 165 degrees. It also advises keeping raw poultry and other meat separate from vegetables and other items that will not be cooked, as well as taking other precautions.

Federal authorities have been criticized for being slow to alert the public about the outbreak, which began to emerge in March.


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