The CDC Says You Should Be Heating Your Charcuterie Meats to Avoid Salmonella

You never know what's lurking in your salami.
You never know what's lurking in your salami. / grandriver/iStock via Getty Images

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that “Italian-style meats” are the likely culprit behind two outbreaks of Salmonella that have caused 36 illnesses—one-third of which required hospitalization—across 17 states.

“People in both outbreaks report eating salami, prosciutto, and other meats that can be found in antipasto or charcuterie assortments before getting sick,” the notice said.

If you’re about to cross-reference the labels of Italian-style meats in your own refrigerator with the list of recalled products, we’re sorry to report that no such list exists—at least not yet. The CDC is still trying to pinpoint which products actually caused the illness. In the meantime, you should peruse the list of severe Salmonella symptoms so you know when to call your doctor. These may include diarrhea paired with a fever higher than 102° F; diarrhea that doesn’t improve after three days; bloody diarrhea; such profuse vomiting that it prevents you from stomaching liquids; and dehydration. While Salmonella typically clears up on its own within about a week, young children, older adults, and immunocompromised people are all at greater risk of having severe symptoms and needing medical care.

Right now, the CDC isn’t directing people to toss out all Italian-style meats. But, as The Takeout reports, they are urging you to “heat all Italian-style meats to an internal temperature of 165° F or until steaming hot before eating if you are at higher risk.” If you aren’t in a high-risk group but would still like to mitigate your chances of food poisoning, you should take that advice for now, too.

In other words, whatever fresh meats you just purchased and planned to array handsomely on your charcuterie board should be heated first to kill off any Salmonella germs. You could technically chill them in the fridge again afterward—just make sure to build in a few extra hours for that if you’re expecting guests who might balk at a steaming charcuterie spread.

[h/t The Takeout]