Pathogen Profile: Salmonella
Salmonella is a bacteria that can be found in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and some fresh produce, like peppers and tomatoes. A recent outbreak found Salmonella in peanut butter causing a major recall of those products. Other outbreaks were caused by petting and holding chickens, ducks and turtles. Salmonella is carried by these animals, so touching them and then touching your mouth or food can cause you to get sick.
People usually get sick 6-48 hours after eating the bacteria. It doesn’t take many bacteria to make someone sick and the more bacteria that are eaten results in more severe symptoms. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and chills. Most people infected with Salmonella recover without treatment after 4 to 7 days. However, some people may experience more severe illnesses that require medical treatment or hospitalization. Someone who had Salmonella can be contagious for weeks after they have recovered from symptoms.
Prevent Salmonella by cooking foods to their proper temperatures, which kills the bacteria. Keep raw meat and poultry products away from produce and ready-to-eat foods and keep employees with symptoms of Salmonella out of the facility.