Tips for the Prevention of Salmonellosis

A few simple guidelines can help reduce the risk of this bacterial infection that affects the digestive system. Learn some tips for preventing Salmonellosis in this article!
Tips for the Prevention of Salmonellosis

Last update: 10 March, 2021

In this article, you’ll discover what you need to take into account for the prevention of salmonellosis. A few guidelines can help reduce the risk of this bacterial infection that affects the digestive system.

It’s very important for you to implement them, as salmonellosis is a very contagious disease.

What’s salmonellosis?

Salmonellosis is a symptomatic infection caused by bacteria of the Salmonella type. It affects the intestines. These bacteria usually live in the intestines of animals and humans. It often spreads to humans when they eat contaminated foods or drink contaminated water. However, there may be other routes of infection.

The salmonella bacteria.
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella. It often spreads due to the consumption of contaminated foods.

The symptoms of salmonellosis

In general, people who are infected with salmonella have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can range from diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that disappear after a few days without specific treatment, to complications such as dehydration or spread of infection that requires medical attention.

Other symptoms can include chills, headaches, and blood in the stool. It’s essential to receive medical care, as lack of treatment can lead to other more serious health problems.

Routes of transmission of salmonellosis

Humans mostly become infected through contaminated food or water. Food hygiene is essential to the prevention of salmonellosis. The risk of becoming infected with this bacteria is greater if you travel to countries with poor hygiene conditions.

Eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or egg products usually causes salmonella infection. These are the foods that can often become infected:

  • Firstly, raw beef, poultry, and fish. During the slaughtering process, meat, pork, and poultry can be contaminated. Likewise, shellfish and fish can become infected if they’re fished from contaminated waters.
  • Also, raw eggs. Some infected chickens produce eggs that contain salmonella before the shell even forms. People use raw eggs to make homemade mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce.
  • Thirdly, fruits and vegetables. Some fresh produce, especially imported ones, may have been hydrated in fields or washed during processing with water contaminated with salmonella. Contamination can also occur in the kitchen, when the juices from raw beef or poultry come into contact with uncooked foods, such as salads.

Many foods become contaminated when they’re prepared by people who don’t wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers. Infection can also occur by touching a contaminated object or animal and then putting your fingers in your mouth.

The prevention of salmonellosis: Food hygiene

Food hygiene is essential to the prevention of salmonellosis. The WHO advises control measures at all stages of the food chain, from agricultural production to processing, manufacturing, and preparation of foods in both commercial establishments and at home.

To prevent this infection at home, ensure good food storage, wash your hands before cooking, and wear gloves when handling pet waste.

A person washing their hands.
A habit as simple as washing your hands is essential in the prevention of salmonellosis.

Wash your hands

Washing your hands thoroughly can help prevent transferring salmonella to your mouth or the food you prepare. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, handling raw meat or poultry, cleaning pet waste, or handling reptiles or birds.

Prevention of Salmonellosis: Keep raw foods separate

To avoid cross-contamination, store raw meat, poultry, and fish separate from other foods in your refrigerator. Also, use different cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables. Similarly, never place cooked foods on unwashed plates that previously contained raw meat.

Avoid eating raw eggs to prevent salmonellosis

Cookie dough, eggnog, and homemade ice cream contain raw eggs. Make sure they’re pasteurized before consuming them.

Conclusion on the prevention of salmonellosis

In short, the prevention of salmonellosis depends to a large extent on proper food hygiene measures. Although some situations are unavoidable, simple habits such as hand washing, avoiding mixing foods and ensuring optimal cooking greatly reduce the risk.

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