Friday, August 25, 2017

Let's Get Serious About Salmonella

No one wants to have food poisoning, that’s a fact. But every year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans gets sick from contaminated food. And what’s the main culprit to blame? You guessed it, salmonella. Responsible for more than 1.2 illnesses, salmonella continues to be one of the most common bacteria. In fact, salmonella infections continue to increase despite foodborne illnesses in general going down.

Salmonella symptoms: what to watch for

There’s no doubt that this nasty germ can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms. When you’re suffering with salmonella, you can expect:

·         Diarrhea
·         Vomiting
·         Abdominal cramps
·         Fever

After eating something contaminated with salmonella, you may see symptoms anywhere from 12 to 72 hours after, and they will likely last for 4 to 7 days.

How do you get salmonella?

Everyone knows that raw chicken can cause salmonella, but what about other common foods? Here are some other salmonella sources that may be to blame:

·         Spices and powders
·         Fruits and veggies (namely tomatoes, cucumbers and melons)
·         Peanut butter and nuts
·         Eggs
·         Sprouts
·         Meats (not just chicken, beef and fish, too)
·         Dairy (unpasteurized milk and cheese)

How to practice salmonella safety:

To protect yourself, always cook poultry, ground beef and eggs thoroughly.

Avoid recipes that call for raw eggs, like: homemade mayonnaise, Caesar and other salad dressings, ice creams and cake frostings. This applies whether the uncooked eggs are whole or only the yolks or the whites.

Take care to avoid cross-contamination. Keep uncooked meats separate from produce, cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods. Wash your hands, all surfaces and utensils after contact with raw meat or poultry. Before reaching for your sponge, make sure that it's germ free.

Also wash your hands after contact with pets -- notably reptiles, turtles and birds -- as well as after cleaning a litter box or picking up after your dog.

Stay salmonella free:

By following these guidelines, you can reduce your risk of getting those unwanted salmonella symptoms.  But when you’re in the midst of battling back against salmonella, you can count on Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care to help. With convenient locations, extensive services and experienced providers, you’ll be able to say so long to salmonella.