Most people take precautions to avoid contracting salmonella poisoning from raw chicken, but there are other foods that are surprisingly more likely to harbor the harmful bacteria.
It seems like salmonella outbreaks are happening once every few weeks around the country. To date, there have been several product recalls so far this year. Here’s everything you need to know about salmonella.
What is salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterial infection that generally affects the intestinal tract and occasionally the bloodstream.
How long does it take to become ill?
Symptoms develop six to 72 hours after eating food containing the bacteria, and the illness can last between four and seven days.
Most people recover without treatment. However, in some people the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, infants and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever.
Can salmonella be deadly?
Salmonella can be deadly. Every year, salmonella is estimated to cause 1 million food-borne illnesses in the United States with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.
How do you get salmonella?
Salmonella is spread by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by contact with infected animals or people. The most frequent sources are poultry, eggs, meat and dairy products. Up to 90% of salmonella infections in the U.S. are food-borne, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
73 people in 31 states have been affected by a salmonella outbreak that is being liked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.
If you live with someone who is sick, do you need to take additional precautions?
Salmonella is rarely spread from person to person. It is a good reminder to practice proper hand-washing hygiene. If you are concerned, consult with your physician.
When should I contact my doctor?
The CDC suggests contacting your doctor or health care provider if you have:
• Diarrhea and a fever over 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit
• Diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving
• Bloody stools
• Prolonged vomiting that prevents you from keeping liquids down
• Signs of dehydration, such as: making very little urine, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up
Do infected people need to be isolated?
Per a Louisiana Department of Health Publication, only people with active diarrhea should be excluded from school or day care. Most infected people can return to work or school after the diarrhea phase provided they carefully wash their hands after toilet visits. LDH advises special consideration must be given to food handlers, health care workers and children in daycare.
What is the treatment?
Most people with salmonella recover on their own or require fluids to prevent dehydration.
Precut melon has been recalled due to a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections, according to the CDC.
How can salmonella be prevented?
• Always treat raw poultry, beef and pork as if they are contaminated and handle accordingly.
• Wrap fresh meat in plastic bags at the market to prevent blood from dripping on other foods.
• Refrigerate foods promptly and minimize holding foods at room temperature.
• Wash cutting boards and counters used for food preparation immediately after use to prevent cross contamination with other foods.
• Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats.
• Ensure that the correct internal cooking temperature is reached, particularly when using the microwave.
• Encourage careful hand washing before and after food preparation.
Mondelez Global says it’s voluntarily recalling some of its Ritz Cracker products over potential risk of salmonella
Pepperidge Farms is recalling four types of Goldfish Crackers because there is a chance whey powder used in the seasonings contain salmonella.
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