What causes Salmonella food poisoning?
Salmonella food poisoning is caused by an infection of the gastrointestinal tract, or digestive tract, by a variety of types of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella food poisoning is spread by eating or drinking food or beverages that have been contaminated with feces that contain Salmonella bacteria.
Common foods contaminated with Salmonella bacteria include undercooked eggs and poultry. However, any food or beverage can become contaminated with Salmonella bacteria if it is handled by an infected person with unwashed hands or if it comes in contact with contaminated food or feces.
Salmonella bacteria are often found in the feces of pets with diarrhea. They are also frequently found in the feces of reptiles, even if the animals are healthy.
What are the risk factors for Salmonella food poisoning?
Salmonella food poisoning can occur in any age group or population, but a number of factors increase the risk of developing the disease. Not all people with risk factors will get Salmonella food poisoning.
Risk factors for Salmonella food poisoning include:
Eating eggs or meats that are raw or undercooked
Eating expired foods
Eating leftovers that have been stored for more than two to three days
Having a compromised immune system due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer or cancer treatment, and kidney disease
Not washing hands after contact with a person who has Salmonella food poisoning
Not washing hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, touching pet feces, handling reptiles, or touching raw foods or foods contaminated with Salmonella bacteria
Reducing your risk of Salmonella food poisoning
You can lower your risk of developing or transmitting Salmonella food poisoning by:
Avoiding contact with a person who has infectious Salmonella food poisoning or its symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea
Defrosting foods in the refrigerator or microwave, not on the counter
Not keeping reptiles as pets in homes with infants and young children
Refrigerating or freezing leftovers right away and eating them within two to three days of refrigerating. Leftovers from restaurants should be eaten within 24 hours.
Throwing out expired food, leftovers, or perishable food that has been sitting at room temperature for two hours or longer
Washing hands frequently during and after contact with a person who has Salmonella food poisoning or its symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea
Washing hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, touching pet feces, handling reptiles, changing diapers, or touching raw foods
Washing plates, utensils, and cutting boards that have been exposed to raw meats or poultry in hot, soapy water before reusing
What is Salmonella food poisoning?
Salmonella food poisoning is the most common cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella food poisoning, also known as salmonellosis, is a bacterial infection caused by a variety of types of Salmonella bacteria.
Salmonella food poisoning is spread from the feces of infected people or animals through food or beverages. Common foods contaminated with Salmonella Read more about salmonella food poisoningintroduction
What are the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning?
Symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning generally begin within eight to 72 hours after ingesting food or beverages contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. With proper care to avoid dehydration, generally healthy adults can begin to see improvement in their symptoms within a couple of days and can recover completely within about a week.
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How is Salmonella food poisoning treated?
Healthy adults may recover from mild to moderate cases of Salmonella food poisoning without medical treatment. However, it is always a good idea to seek medical care if you have symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
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