November 11, 2011
Quick Tips for Preventing Salmonella
More About Prevention
- Cook poultry, ground beef, and
eggs thoroughly. Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs, or raw
- If you are served undercooked
meat, poultry or eggs in a restaurant, don't hesitate to send it back to
the kitchen for further cooking.
- Wash hands, kitchen work
surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have
been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Be particularly careful with
foods prepared for infants, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
- Wash hands with soap after
handling reptiles, birds, or baby chicks, and after contact with pet
- Avoid direct or even indirect
contact between reptiles (turtles, iguanas, other lizards, snakes) and
infants or immunocompromised persons.
- Don't work with raw poultry or
meat, and an infant (e.g., feed, change diaper) at the same time.
- Mother's milk is the safest
food for young infants. Breastfeeding prevents salmonellosis and many
other health problems.
is no vaccine to prevent salmonellosis. Because foods of animal origin may be
contaminated with Salmonella,
people should not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat. Raw eggs may
be unrecognized in some foods, such as homemade Hollandaise sauce, Caesar and
other homemade salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade
mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings. Poultry and meat, including
hamburgers, should be well-cooked, not pink in the middle. Persons also should
not consume raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products. Produce should
be thoroughly washed.
of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from
produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters,
knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked
foods. Hand should be washed before handling food, and between handling
different food items.
who have salmonellosis should not prepare food or pour water for others until
their diarrhea has resolved. Many health departments require that restaurant
workers with Salmonella
infection have a stool test showing that they are no longer carrying the Salmonella bacterium
before they return to work.
should wash their hands after contact with animal feces. Because reptiles are
particularly likely to have Salmonella,
and it can contaminate their skin, everyone should immediately wash their hands
after handling reptiles. Reptiles (including turtles) are not appropriate pets
for small children and should not be in the same house as an infant. Salmonella carried in the
intestines of chicks and ducklings contaminates their environment and the
entire surface of the animal. Children can be exposed to the bacteria by simply
holding, cuddling, or kissing the birds. Children should not handle baby chicks
or other young birds. Everyone should immediately wash their hands after
touching birds, including baby chicks and ducklings, or their environment.
prevention steps occur everyday without you thinking about it. Pasteurization
of milk and treatment of municipal water supplies are highly effective
prevention measures that have been in place for decades. In the 1970s, small
pet turtles were a common source of salmonellosis in the United States, so in
1975, the sale of small turtles was banned in this country. However, in 2008,
they were still being sold, and cases of Salmonella
associated with pet turtles have been reported. Improvements in farm animal
hygiene, in slaughter plant practices, and in vegetable and fruit harvesting
and packing operations may help prevent salmonellosis caused by contaminated
foods. Better education of food industry workers in basic food safety and
restaurant inspection procedures may prevent cross-contamination and other food
handling errors that can lead to outbreaks. Wider use of pasteurized egg in
restaurants, hospitals, and nursing homes is an important prevention measure.
In the future, irradiation or other treatments may greatly reduce contamination
of raw meat.