An estimated 40,000 cases of salmonellosis is reported each year in the U.S., while Salmonella is estimated to cause about 1.2 million illnesses annually. The actual number is likely greater as some milder cases go undiagnosed and aren’t reported. Approximately 450 cases are fatal each year.
Salmonellosis: What is it?
Salmonellosis – also commonly known as a type of food poisoning – is an infection with bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected will develop abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea 12 to 72 hours after infection and it can last anywhere from 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without seeking medical attention, but in some cases hospitalization is required. Young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune system are at the greatest risk of contracting salmonellosis.
Avoid consuming food and drinks that contain raw eggs or raw milk. Eggs, poultry and ground beef should be cooked properly and thoroughly.
If you are out to dinner and your meat is served undercooked, send it back to the kitchen.
Hands and kitchen surfaces as well as utensils should be washed with soup immediately after they are in contact with poultry or raw meat. The same utensil should not be cross contaminated.
Aside from food, contact with certain reptiles and birds can cause salmonella infection, be sure to wash hands after direct or indirect contact.
Public health scientists have tracked Salmonella infections in the United States since 1962. By identifying the structures on the bacteria’s surfaces, scientists can classify the many types of Salmonella into serotypes. For more information, please read: An Atlas of Salmonella in the United States, 1968-2011 [PDF – 248 pages].