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Multiple Salmonella Outbreaks in California Associated with Contact with Pet Turtles

LA Testing offers Salmonella and other environmental microbial testing services to identify pathogens to protect pet owners from exposure risks.

Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE
LA Testing Laboratory Locations
LA Testing Laboratory Locations

From January of last year through April of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have investigated four separate multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to contact with small turtles. In each of the outbreaks, some of the victims have resided in California.

A total of at least 133 people have been infected with dozens from the Golden State. A large portion of the infected individuals reported contact with small turtles. The CDC reports that contact with reptiles can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Reptiles can carry Salmonella germs and still appear healthy and clean. Salmonella germs are shed in reptile feces and can easily contaminate their bodies and anything in areas where these animals live. Reptiles that live in tanks or aquariums can contaminate the water, which can then spread to people.

Turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches are a well-known source of human Salmonella infections, especially among young children. Because of this risk, the FDA banned the sale and distribution of these turtles in 1975.

“With all four recent outbreaks sickening residents of California, pet turtle owners in the state, and especially those with small children, need to be aware of the risks,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Young children are at increased risk for Salmonella infections because their immune systems are still developing and because they are more likely than others to put their hands and other items into their mouths. To help identify exposure risks to Salmonella and other microbial pathogens, LA Testing offers analytical services and sampling supplies to breeders, distributors, pet store owners and the general public to identify these organisms from surface, water and bulk samples.”  

LA Testing has sponsored an educational video about Salmonella exposure risks from pet reptiles and amphibians that can be seen at  

To learn more about microbial pathogen testing or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit, email  or call (800) 755-1794. 

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, CDC ELITE, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple lab.

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