Salmonella Bacteria Poisoning

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:33 by admin

Salmonella is a one-celled organism that cannot be seen, touched or tasted. It is commonly found in the intestinal tract and feces of livestock, poultry, dogs, cats, rats, and other warm blooded animals. Therefore, eggs, milk, and raw foods may carry salmonella passed on by animals. There are over 2,000 different strands of salmonella bacteria. The two most common strands are Salmonella Serotype Typhimurium, Salmonella Serotype Enteritidis, and Salmonella Saintpaul. 

Salmonella causes the most common foodborne illness, Salmonellosis. Salmonellosis is contracted when a person consumes food contaminated with the bacteria. Food may look and smell normal, yet still be infected with Salmonella bacteria. Person-to-person transmission may also occur. Salmonellosis causes flu-like symptoms including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. These symptoms usually begin 12-72 hours after infection, and will typically last up to a week.  Salmonella poisoning can be especially severe and even lethal in certain immunosupressed populations, children, and the elderly, therefore it is crucial to seek treatment at the first visible symptoms of salmonella food poisoning.

Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak 2008

Salmonella and salmonellosis illness usually present either in the form of localized outbreaks to particular areas of the United States or outbreaks specific to tainted foods - usually meats, eggs, or any raw produce consumed.  In Spring 2008, the CDC reported several hundred cases of Salmonella bacteria poisoning in all but a handful of states across the country.  At the first major signs of the outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul, the CDC indicated that the genetic footprint Saintpaul type of Salmonella may be attributed to tomatoes irrigated with contaminated water.  Tomatoes contaminated with Salmonella Saintpaul accounted for many of the cases of food poisoning, but the CDC could not link all the caes to tainted tomatoes.

By July of 2008, after several hundred more cases had emerged nationally, the CDC indicated that the cases of Salmonella food poisoning, which numbered over 1,000 people, may have a different source.  The agency asserted that the cases may be due to consumption of either Salmonella-tainted tomatoes, Jalapeno peppers, or cilantro.  These raw ingredients are commonly found in Southwestern style foods or Tex-Mex food condiments, such as salsa or pico de gallo.   


See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Digestive Disorders: Overview
  3. Salmonellosis: Overview
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