Salmonella

Salmonella

Salmonella, the name of a group of bacteria, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic diseases. Salmonella is killed by cooking and pasteurization.

Sources

  • Food: Contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables (alfalfa sprouts, melons), spices, and nuts
  • Animals and their environment: Particularly reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards), amphibians (frogs), birds (baby chicks) and pet food and treats.

Incubation Period

12-72 hours

Symptoms

Diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting

Duration of Illness

4-7 days

What Do I Do?

Drink plenty of fluids and get rest. If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration or if your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. Antibiotics may be necessary if the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood stream.

How Can I Prevent It?

  • Avoid eating high-risk foods, including raw or lightly cooked eggs, undercooked ground beef or poultry, and unpasteurized milk
  • Keep food properly refrigerated before cooking.
  • Clean hands with soap and warm water before handling food. Clean surfaces before preparing food on them.
  • Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly.
  • Cook foods to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting from one place to another.
  • Wash your hand after contact with animals, their food or treats, or their living environment.
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