by James Willhelm, RN – Infection Prevention
Salmonella is a bacterial infection which is estimated to cause one million food-borne illnesses a year in the US. Salmonella is typically caused by eating undercooked meat, poultry or eggs, lack of work space hygiene or lack of personal hygiene when preparing foods. Symptoms of Salmonella, including diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, may appear 12 to 72 hours after infection. The infection typically lasts between four and seven days. While most people don’t require treatment, sometimes the diarrhea can be severe enough to require hospitalization. If a suspected salmonella infection is present, see a doctor and drink plenty of fluids.
Quick tips for prevention of Salmonella include:
Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs or unpasteurized milk. (If you receive undercooked food in a restaurant, don’t be afraid to send it back!)
Wash hands prior to, during and after food preparation as well as all cook/preparation surfaces.
Also, please note that reptiles can carry salmonella on their skin. Avoid handling turtles, lizards, etc., or make sure to wash your hands after handling them.
For further information visit the Center for Disease Control website at www.CDC.gov.