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Salmonella Outbreak From Contact with Pet Turtles

Category Press Release
Publish Date 10/9/2012
Author Danae Dinger
Title Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Contact with Pet Turtles
Introduction LA Testing offers testing services for Salmonella in our advanced microbiology laboratories.

According to Yahoo News, 196 people, including six new cases in the past week, have contracted a Salmonella infection from contact with pet turtles.

In 1975 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a nationwide ban on turtles with shells of 4 inches or less after it was discovered that they carried bacteria including Salmonella. When turtles relieve themselves, they release the bacteria that then spread onto their shells or within their tanks. When contact is made with the turtle’s shell or the tank water, the bacteria is able to spread to humans.

Furthermore, if tanks are washed in a kitchen sink, plates and utensils can become contaminated.

Of the individuals recently affected by this Salmonella outbreak, 63 percent are 10 years of age or younger and 29 percent are one year old or younger. To date, there have been no deaths associated with this recent outbreak.

Small children are most susceptible to contracting Salmonella from a small turtle because they are most likely to put their hands in their mouths after having contact with a turtle or its tank. Also, children’s immune systems are not as strong as adults, so their bodies cannot fight off the bacterial infection as well.

“Many reptiles and amphibians carry Salmonella bacteria and they can easily contaminate their environment,” states Dr. Jason Dobranic, Ph.D, Vice President of Microbiology and Life Sciences at LA Testing, an environmental testing laboratory. “LA Testing’s experienced staff of trained microbiologists provides testing to detect Salmonella strains in environmental samples in our advanced microbiology laboratories in southern California.”

To learn more about LA Testing’s services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing, Inc.
LA Testing is a local provider of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.
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