Don't Get Salmonella Poisoning

Ways To Avoid Salmonella Poisoning

Every year, around 40,000 Americans are diagnosed with salmonella poisoning – most in the summer months. And these are just the reported cases; there are plenty more. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates the actual number of people infected is at least 30 times greater. Most are young children, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms typically show up 12 to 72 hours after infection, last 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. The most common symptoms are: nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle pains and blood in the stool. So what’s the good news? There are simple ways to avoid getting salmonella.

Poultry, ground beef, and eggs should be cooked completely before eating. This includes foods served in restaurants. If any are under-cooked, return them to your waiter until they are safely prepared.

Nix food or drinks containing raw eggs, or raw unpasteurized milk. Common dishes that often contain raw eggs include the homemade versions of hollandaise sauce, Caesar and other salad dressings, tiramisu, ice cream, mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.

Wash your hands, kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. And wash produce completely before consuming. There are special brushes or wipes you can use. Peel and discard outer leaves or rinds of fruits and vegetables. 

• Keep your refrigerator cold. Cover and refrigerate produce you have cut. But clean out your refrigerator weekly and throw out foods that have ‘gone bad.’  Read and follow label instructions such as "Keep Refrigerated" or "Use By" (a certain date). • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet and before preparing food. • Keep prepared fruit salads or other cut produce items in the refrigerator until just before serving. Discard cut produce items if they have been out of the refrigerator for more than four hours. • Wash hands with soap after handling reptiles or birds, or after contact with pet feces. • Avoid direct or even indirect contact between reptiles (turtles, iguanas, other lizards, snakes) and infants or people with decreased immune systems. Do not keep reptiles in the same home as someone with a decreased immune system. • Anyone who has salmonellosis should not prepare food or pour water for others until they are no longer carrying the Salmonella bacterium.   
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