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Salmonellosis (Salmonella)

What is Salmonellosis?

A common type of food-borne illness is salmonellosis, an infection caused by the salmonella bacteria. The infection may cause severe diarrhea, vomiting, fever, nausea, sudden onset of headache, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. In most people, the illness lasts between 4 and 7 days and does not require specific treatment unless the person becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines to the blood. Older adults, infants and individuals with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. If you think you have a salmonella infection contact your doctor as soon as possible. 

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How can I get Salmonellosis?

  • Consuming contaminated raw or undercooked egg, egg product, raw milk, contaminated water.
  • Not washing fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  • Not properly cleaning work surfaces used to prepare raw meats and other foods.
  • Cross contamination from food handlers who do not wash their hands with soap after handling raw meat or after using the bathroom.

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How can I prevent Salmonellosis?

  • Washing hands after using the bathroom.
  • Wash hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing uncooked foods, after handling pets or animals.
  • Clean and sanitize utensils and cutting boards with one cap-full of household bleach to 1 liter of water.
  • If possible, have separate cutting boards for raw and cooked meats.
  • Cook food thoroughly to destroy bacteria.
  • Avoid raw or unpasteurized milk.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
  • When buying and storing groceries, keep meat separate from fruits and vegetables -- store raw products on bottom shelves and vegetables and fruits on top shelves of the refrigerator.
  • Avoid preparing or handling food if you are infected with salmonella bacteria.
  • Wash hands after contact with animal feces. For example, changing kitty litter or scooping up after your dog.

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