Salmonella is a bacteria that causes food borne illness that affects about 1 million Americans annually.
Typically it is caused by:
• consuming undercooked or raw eggs, raw (unpasteurized) milk, raw or undercooked chicken or raw beef
• handling chickens and baby chicks (backyard flocks)
• coming in contact with pet feces
• cross-contact between cooked and raw foods when cooking/preparing foods
What happens if you are contaminated with Salmonella?
Within 12 to 72 hours a person who is infected may start to experience diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. The illness typically lasts 4-7 days. For infants, the elderly and those with a vulnerable or compromised immune system, it may become so severe they may require hospitalization.
How can you protect yourself from being infected with Salmonella?
• Do not consume raw, unpasteurized, undercooked products (eggs, milk, chicken, beef)
• If you keep backyard chickens make sure to wash your hands after touching them, this is especially important for children!
• Keep raw and cooked foods separated when preparing and cooking foods. Change cutting boards and clean surfaces.
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian