8 Tips to Decrease Your Chances of Contracting a Salmonella Infection
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8 Tips to Decrease Your Chances of Contracting a Salmonella Infection

Recent salmonella outbreaks and the associated illness of nearly 100 people are very disturbing. Salmonella infections seem to resurface on a regular basis. While most people only experience vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping, and clears up after approximately 7-10 days, some cases end in tragedy. Older generations and small children usually have a harder time fighting the bacteria.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) there have been several major outbreaks of salmonella infections in recent years. Each of these outbreaks was linked to different food from raw yellow fin tuna in 2012, ground beef in 2012, chicks and ducklings in 2011, ground turkey in 2011, Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts in 2010 and 2011, eggs in 2010, peanut butter and peanut paste in 2009, tomatoes in 2008, to pot pies in 2007. Even pet food was linked to an outbreak in 2007. Pet owners became sick after handling their sick pets.

Looking at the list of foods that were contaminated with the salmonella bacteria, avoiding an infection may just depend on the precautions you take in your food preparation, and a large dose of plain luck. According to the CBS News every year Salmonella infections kill at least 400 people and sicken 40,000.

These 8 simple tips will increase your chances of preventing such an infection.

  1. Decrease your chances of contracting this infection by washing your hands more often, particularly if you are preparing food for yourself or others..Washing your hands after preparing food is just as important as you do not want to contaminate any other surfaces or even dishes. A family member who experiences diarrhea and/or exhibits other symptoms of salmonella poisoning should not be allowed to prepare food until the symptoms disappear.
  2. Avoid food that is prepared with raw eggs like mayonnaise, cookie dough, Hollandaise sauce, homemade ice cream and even certain salad dressings. It is important to store these food items appropriately and check the expiration date.
  3. Buy some color coded cutting board that will allow you to have one designated board for poultry, beef, pork and vegetables. Disinfecting these cutting boards after each use, using different knifes for each food group, and keeping cooked and uncooked foods separate will minimize your risk of transferring the bacteria.
  4. Produce should be washed before it is consumed, regardless if it will be cooked or eaten raw.
  5. Reptiles like turtles, lizards, and snakes can harbor the bacteria. Handling the animal or touching their habitat can put you at risk. Washing your hands after each contact is essential to avoid a possible infection from these pets.
  6. Avoid handling little chicks, ducklings and other birds can carry the salmonella. Infants and small children are particularly susceptible to catching this infection. The petting zoo may not be such a good idea after all.
  7. Many salmonella outbreaks have been traced back to meat. All meat without exception should be cooked thoroughly, a pink color should be avoided, and this is especially true for hamburgers from the grill.
  8. Stay informed about new outbreaks so you can avoid contact with potentially contaminated food.

Following these 8 tips will decrease your chances of contracting this infection.

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