Last updated: 23 December 2020
What is it?
- Salmonella is a type of bacteria that is typically found in the gut of pets, livestock and wild animals
- It is usually transferred to food through contaminated soil or water from the faeces (poo) of animals or people, for example from animal manure, sewerage or dirty hands
- Foods that are at higher risk of contamination include meat, chicken, eggs, raw fruits and vegetables and spices
What's the risk?
- Salmonella can cause severe gastro illness called salmonellosis
- Anyone can get salmonellosis but young children, the elderly and people with a weakened immune system are most at risk.
Reduce your risk
- Cook food thoroughly, especially poultry and eggs
- Don’t use dirty or cracked eggs
- Wash your hands with soap and dry them before preparing and eating food and after handling eggs
- Never wash raw chicken
- Wash raw fruit and vegetables thoroughly in running water
- Avoid cross contamination − use separate cutting boards and knives for raw chicken and ready-to-eat food, and store cooked food separately from raw foods
- Keep cold food cold (5oC or colder) or keep cooked food hot (60oC or hotter) before it is served
- Keep your kitchen and equipment clean
- Follow storage instructions on the product label
Symptoms of salmonellosis
- Symptoms usually start 12-36 hours after eating contaminated food
- Common symptoms are diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and headaches
- Sometimes the illness can become more complicated from severe dehydration, requiring hospitalisation, or leading to longer-term problems such as arthritis
- Most people are sick for 4 to 7 days, but can be sick for longer