Salmonella and Salmonellosis The Complete Beginner’s Guide

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella are a type of bacteria that are one of the most common food poisoning bacteria (salmonellosis) and one of the most well known names of bacteria. Like most other bacteria, Salmonella have species that are harmless and those that are harmful to us.

Salmonella enteritidis

S.enteritidis is the disease causing species that causes salmonellosis. S.enteritidis is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacteria.
S.enteritidis species are like E.coli and can be considered the big brother of Salmonella. They are similar because they cause infection in the same ways. Especially via the fecal-oral route. Salmonella is also thought to be one of the major causes of traveler’s diarrhoea.
 
E.coli are tougher than Salmonella because they can survive harsher conditions. Such as higher temperatures, lower moisture and higher salt contents.
 
Food microbiologists say that if there is E.coli present you are likely to have Salmonella as well. But this does not mean that we shouldn’t be concerned about Salmonella. In fact Salmonella is most infamous for contamination of eggs rather than red meats and in the gut.
 
Chocolate has also had cases of contaminated with Salmonella. In general we expect E.coli to be present in red meats, and Salmonella in chicken. Yet, E.coli is also present in chicken as well as fruits and vegetables. So focusing on eradicating E.coli will usually address Salmonella as well.
 
Salmonellosis is likely one of the most common forms of food poisoning throughout the world.

Salmonellosis

S.enteritis causes diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever. Known as salmonellosis. The classic signs of food poisoning. They can develop within 12 hours up to 3 days and can even last up to 1 week. Most patients that are hospitalised are due to severe dehydration, because of the above symptoms.
 
Salmonella is a major cause of human bacterial infections in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Salmonella cause infections of around 1 million Americans every year, leading to 19,000 hospitalisations and 380 deaths. When considering bacteria such as E.coli 0157:H7 where although there are only 2 000 hospitalisations, 60 people die from this disease each year.

 

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms of salmonellosis include:

  • stomach cramps
  • bloody stools
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pains
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • fever

How to prevent Salmonellosis

Preventing salmonellosis is a simple procedure:

  • Cooking your foods to an internal temperature of 75º C (167˚F) easily kills the bacteria.
  • Handling your raw meats (especially chicken/eggs) separately from ready to eat foods will greatly minimise this risk.
  • Keep foods properly refrigerated until ready to prepare and cook. Hand washing and personal hygiene is essential in preventing cross-contamination. 
  • Avoid eating high-risk foods, including raw or undercooked eggs. Undercooked ground beef or poultry, and unpasteurised milk

Treatment

The  treatment of symptoms relate to dehydration in most cases. This means taking in fluids and replacing electrolytes in your body. Simple antibiotic treat will resolve further complications.

In the next post we will address three more bacteria, because they are uniquely different in a few ways from E.coli and S.aureus.  Knowing these bacteria as a whole, will help you understand the importance of the food safety pillars, and the need to maintain each pillar.

 

For more information on the food safety pillars check the ebook on Amazon.

If you would like to learn more about Hygiene Food Safety subscribe to the blog.

 

 

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