How to Avoid Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is an intestinal infection of bacterial origin that affects the gastrointestinal tract, causing intoxication and dehydration. What does it look like, and how can you avoid becoming infected?

Dr. Alex


Who is at risk?

Most often, people with weakened immune systems and small children get salmonellosis. In a healthy body, even if the pathogenic bacillus gets into the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, the immune response comes on quickly and is unnoticed by the person.

How does the disease progress?

The first symptoms occur 12-36 hours after entry into the body of the bacteria. First there is a sharp rise in temperature (up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), then cramps and abdominal rubs begin. Two to three hours after the first symptoms there may be diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting that may last from 2 to 7 days.

Despite the frightening description of symptoms, most patients recover without specific treatment, as it is only necessary to maintain water balance. In rare cases, hospitalization is required if the body is unable to retain water. Infants, patients weakened by other diseases, and the elderly are mandatorily hospitalized.

Where do salmonellae live?

Raw water: in water, bacteria retain the ability to multiply for up to 5 months. If the water has been contaminated, only boiling will help get rid of salmonellae.

Raw meat: if the meat has been contaminated, the bacteria in it will be active for up to six months.

Poultry meat: poultry meat is fine with bacteria for up to a year, and in some cases longer.

Cheeses: hard cheese has salmonella bacteria for up to a year, but for some reason soft cheeses do not take root at all.

Milk: raw milk is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, where it remains viable for up to 3 weeks.

Dairy products: yogurt and other products made from raw milk at home can keep salmonella bacteria for a month.

Butter: salmonellae will live for six months in butter.

Eggs: if a bird is infected, eggs also become a source of infection, with the bacteria living for 3 weeks on the shell and 3 to 6 months inside the egg.

You can’t tell whether something is contaminated by its taste or smell.

How can you avoid contamination?

When buying food, pay attention to the counters of the grocery store. Raw products should not be adjacent to cooked products. They should be stored at the recommended temperature and in closed cabinets.

At home, you should thoroughly clean the refrigerator compartments where you store eggs.

Raw foods should be cut on a separate dedicated board — and be sure to wash it with boiling water after each use.

Foods should be heat treated. Salmonella bacteria die at 163 degrees Fahrenheit (inside the food) within minutes.

When cooking, you should wash your hands with soap and water after cutting meat or coming into direct contact with raw eggs (for example, when kneading dough).

There are no other measures or vaccinations against salmonellosis. Hygiene, quality food, and proper cooking are all that's required.

29 June 2022

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