Salmonella Poisoning

bacteriaWith the recent number of foods that have been recalled for suspicion of being tainted by  salmonella bacteria, one should take extra precaution while buying groceries as well as gather as much information on salmonella poisoning, how to avoid it and how to react should one become infected.

Salmonellosis is the medical name of the infection caused by the salmonella bacteria. Unfortunately, it is not particularly easy to identify foods that have been tainted by the bacteria since it smells and looks normal. Those particularly susceptible to the infection are children, the elderly, as well as people with a weak immune system. The major symptoms of the infection include cramps, diarrhea and fever. Without treatment, one may recover within 5-7 days. Treatment should be immediately sought, should the victim become severely hydrated.

Although there is currently no vaccine against Salmonellosis, one could take precautionary steps to avoid the infection. The first step would be to ensure that all the meat or poultry that one consumes is not undercooked (the middle should not be pink in color). Next, would be to ensure that they wash their hands after handling raw meat, as well as before and after meals, or after visiting the toilet. In addition, one should thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before eating them. Lastly, cut products should stay in the refrigerator, or be thrown away if they are left out for four hours or more.

Other precautionary steps may include following labeling instructions on products such as the expiry dates, as well as storage instructions. When dealing with infants, one should be extra cautious. For instance, never handle raw meat and an infant simultaneously. It is also advised that the infant be breast-fed since it is the safest infant food. This list is definitely not exhaustive, but one should do as much as they can to avoid being infected. If infection is suspected, immediately contact a doctor.