Ask Leah! The Ingles Dietitian

Sponsored: Thinking About Backyard Chickens? You should know about Salmonella

Sponsored: Thinking About Backyard Chickens? You should know about Salmonella

What is Salmonella...and how can you avoid getting it?

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

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• 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



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