Salmonellosis (Salmonella Infection)

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Salmonellosis is an illness caused by Salmonella bacteria. There are many different species of Salmonella bacteria which can infect both humans and animals.

Salmonellosis is spread by eating contaminated foods, drinking contaminated water, or having hand-to-mouth contact with the stool (feces) of an infected person or animal.

You are more likely to get salmonellosis if you:

  • eat raw or undercooked poultry, eggs, or raw milk products or drink raw milk or untreated water
  • are a child in day-care
  • work in a day-care facility or with diapered children
  • handle pets or livestock or clean their living areas

The common symptoms are:

  • headache
  • stomach pain
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • sometimes vomiting

These symptoms may go away after several days but without antibiotic treatment the sick person may be able to pass the disease to others for up to two months. People who have salmonellosis should not take antidiarrhreal medicines because this may lengthen the amount of time they can pass the disease to other people.

Cook all poultry, eggs, and egg products thoroughly.

  • Whole poultry until temperature in the center is 180°F
  • Poultry breasts, 170°F (center no longer pink, juices clear)
  • Ground poultry, stuffing, leftovers, 165°F
  • Raw eggs, egg dishes, 160°F (egg whites firm, not runny)
  • Clean cutting boards and utensils used to prepare raw poultry or eggs before using them to prepare foods that will be eaten raw.

Always wash your hands:

  • after going to the restroom
  • after changing a baby's diaper, or touching anything soiled with stool (feces)
  • after handling pets/livestock or cleaning their living areas
  • before preparing or serving food

Avoid raw milk or raw milk products.

Avoid drinking water from ponds, lakes, rivers, or swimming pools.

Avoid sexual practices that put you in direct contact with stool.

Recent Texas Trends
Over the last five years, 2015-2019, the average number of cases of salmonellosis reported in Texas has been 5,640 cases per year (ranging from 5,113 to 5,901). Recent foodborne outbreaks of salmonellosis, involving cases in Texas, have been associated with alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, mangoes, cantaloupes, nut butters, raw scraped ground tuna product, and ground turkey.  Recent outbreaks of salmonellosis associated with animal contact include small turtles, pet bearded dragons, and live poultry (chicks, chickens, ducks, ducklings).
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Last updated March 23, 2022