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Salmonella


Beef, poultry, eggs and raw milk all can carry Salmonella bacteria.

Salmonellas are a group of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. They live in the gut of many animals.  The animals become infected with the bacteria by direct contact with other animals, feed or water, or through grass, wild birds and rats.

How can I be exposed to Salmonella infection?

Eating food that contains live Salmonella can cause food poisoning. The foods with the highest risks of Salmonella are:

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Raw milk

Poor kitchen hygiene can also be the cause. Salmonella can be spread from raw to cooked food by hands, kitchen surfaces and equipment.

How do I know if I have a Salmonella infection?

Typically, a person becomes ill between 12 and 36 hours after eating the food. The usual symptoms are:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

The illness is sometimes severe and admission to hospital may be necessary. The people most at risk from life-threatening illness are the very young, the elderly and people with an already weakened immune system.

How can Salmonella food poisoning be treated?

Salmonella infections usually resolve in four to seven days without requiring treatment, unless the patient becomes severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. 

If you have these symptoms, you should visit your doctor.  They will ask about the foods you have eaten. They may also ask for a stool sample to find out which bacteria has caused the infection. 

Your doctor will monitor you and, if you are very ill, may admit you to hospital.  It is important to drink plenty of water so you do not become dehydrated.


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