Salmonella is a type of Gram negative bacteria. It may also refer to the salmonella disease (salmonellosis), a bacterial disease of the intestinal tract. This can cause gastroenteritis, typhoid fever, food poisoning, enteric fever and more. Salmonella is most often gotten from ingesting contaminated food. The disease is a common occurrence worldwide affecting over a million people each year. Salmonellosis can be avoided if proper attention was given to food safety. Below are some tips you can follow to keep salmonellosis at bay.

1. Make it a habit to wash your hands thoroughly when preparing food and before eating
Proper handwashing is one of most effective ways to prevent any infection. Do this especially after handling raw meat or poultry, after you use the bathroom and after handling your pets.

2. Skip the drinking of raw or unpasteurized milk.

3. Avoid eating eggs in the raw. When eating eggs, cook it to 160 deg. Fahrenheit to prevent salmonella. Eggnogs, hollandaise sauce and other foods containing raw eggs should be avoided too if possible.

4. Make sure that your kitchen counters and tops and properly washed and cleaned especially after you’ve handled and prepared raw meat and poultry in it.

5. Keep raw meat and poultry separated from other kinds of food in the fridge. Wash the plates and other containers you’ve used to place the raw foods before putting anything else on it again.

6. Cook food thoroughly to prevent the spread of salmonella.

7. Wash raw fruits and vegetables before ingesting them.

8. Be careful of milk that’s being prepared especially for pregnant women and babies. Infants are better breastfed than use milk formula.

The symptoms of salmonella may include fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. The illness develops 12-72 hours after getting infected and may last up to 4-7 days. Most people do recover without any further treatment; however there are some cases where diarrhea and dehydration becomes severe that medical attention should be sought. Infants and older adults are the ones most at risk to salmonellosis due to weaker immune systems.

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