H-PASO ROBLES

Jul 25, 2013 6:19 PM by Kathrene Herndon, KSBY News

Turtles given out as prizes confiscated at fair due to possible health risks

Public Health officials say small turtles given out as prizes at the California Mid-State Fair have been confiscated and people who won them are asked to not keep them due to possible health risks. The San Luis Obispo Public Health Department says the turtles were given out as prizes for a ping-pong ball toss game. Health officials say the turtles can be harmful to infants, small children, and adults with impaired immune systems because they can be natural hosts to Salmonella, which can cause people to become sick or even die. Officials say that any substance that came into contact with the turtles should not be in contact with food or areas where it is prepared. The health department asks people who won a turtle to take it to the Division of Animal Services, 885 Oklahoma Ave., in San Luis Obispo.The turtles will then be placed with a local turtle and tortoise rescue organization.

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