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Pathogen: Salmonella - bacteria

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Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache (with a sudden onset)
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (sometimes)

Start of symptoms / how long they last

Symptoms usually

  • start within 6 to 72 hours after eating or drinking food containing the bacteria
  • last 4 to 7 days

Sometimes symptoms last up to 8 weeks.

How you can get sick

  • By eating or drinking food or beverages contaminated with Salmonella
  • Through cross-contamination between raw meat and other food when you are preparing food
  • From hands that were not washed properly after using the washroom and before handling food
  • From hands that were not washed properly after petting infected animals (such as cats, reptiles, turtles and birds) whose bodies could be covered in feces that are carrying an infection
  • From hands that were not washed properly after handling, animal feces, pets, pet turtles, pet rodents, pet food, pet toys and pet treats

Potential health impacts

  • Most people recover without treatment. However, in some people, symptoms can be severe and can cause dehydration, which may lead to hospitalization.
  • In the case of severe illness, complications such as abscesses (a sore that is infected and filled with pus) and pneumonia can occur. Complications can sometimes cause death unless treated with the appropriate antibiotics. The young, adults 60 years and older and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
  • Some people may get
    • Reiter's syndrome (a condition that develops in response to an infection in another part of the body. It can last for months or years and may lead to chronic arthritis).
    • colitis (inflammation of the colon).

Food commonly associated

  • Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs and milk
  • Unpasteurized dairy products, such as raw milk and raw cheese, and cream-filled desserts and toppings
  • Raw fruit and vegetables (especially sprouts and cantaloupes) and their juices
  • Homemade products such as salad dressings, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, ice cream, cookie dough, tiramisu, and frostings

How to protect yourself

  • Cook food, including meat, poultry and eggs, to a safe internal temperature.
  • Drink and eat pasteurized milk and milk products.
  • Use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. Refer to the chart on page 5.
  • Consume only pasteurized juice, cider, milk and milk products.
  • Wash fresh fruit and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Keep cooked food separate from raw food during storage and preparation.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animal feces, pets, pet turtles, pet rodents, pet food, pet toys and pet treats.

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Salmonella Salmonella