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What is salmonella and how can you prevent it?

Do you want to be fully informed about salmonella poisoning, and take steps to make sure it doesn’t affect your household? Read on for important tips and advice!


what is salmonella

What is Salmonella? While we’ve all heard the term, it’s useful to know exactly what this means when working on salmonella prevention in your home. Salmonella belongs to a type of bacteria that can cause illness in humans. They are living organisms too small to be seen without a microscope, and if present in food, salmonella does not usually affect its taste, smell, or appearance.

A simple method of salmonella prevention is to thoroughly wash hands, dishes and countertops between preparing each food item. A cleaning product such as Jif is great for tackling bacteria – just read the directions on the label and test on a small area first.

How do you get salmonella?

Salmonella poisoning usually occurs through eating contaminated food, which can occur in the following ways:

  • The salmonella bacteria can affect poultry, milk, eggs, and meat when it makes its home in the belly of farm animals.

  • Bacteria can relocate during food preparation to cause contamination, and also when cooked foods and raw foods are stored in too close proximity.

  • Occasionally, household pets such as rodents, dogs and cats can become infected.

So now we’ve addressed the important question of “how do you get salmonella?” let’s look at how to prevent it. While it can sound a little daunting, once you’re well informed with salmonella prevention tips and strategies, you’ll be in a great position to keep these bacteria out of your home.

Salmonella Prevention

While anyone can get salmonella poisoning, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems have a greater risk of becoming severely ill, so salmonella prevention is very important to ensure the health of your household. The salmonella bacteria can transfer among people when hygiene isn’t up to scratch, or after touching food that is infected. These tips will help you prevent getting salmonella contamination:

  • Wash your hands frequently – particularly before and after coming into contact with food, after changing a diaper, after touching animals, and after using the bathroom.

  • Never allow cooked foods to touch raw foods and store them separately in the refrigerator.

  • If eating vegetables or fruits, ensure you wash them carefully first.

  • Ensure food that needs cooking is cooked completely and thoroughly hot – particularly meat.

  • Jif can help you make sure your home surfaces are clean – particularly those you use for food preparation.

Hopefully you’ll never need to contend with salmonella symptoms, but it’s useful to understand them, just in case. Salmonella symptoms can comprise stomach cramps, a high temperature, diarrhoea and, for some people, throwing up. After ingesting an infectious dose of salmonella, symptoms tend to appear within 12 to 72 hours, commonly sticking around for four to seven days. While many people recover without treatment, if you become very ill you may require hospital care to treat dehydration, so if in doubt, contact your doctor to discuss the best steps to get you back to health.

Now you’re well informed about salmonella poisoning, you know that effective salmonella prevention is straightforward. Give these tips a go to ensure your food preparation is as hygienic as possible!

  • It’s important to wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after handling food and after visiting the bathroom, changing your baby’s nappies and touching pets.

  • Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes and worktops with water that’s hot and soapy, between preparing each item of food that you need for your meal.

  • Separate your cutting boards. Select one for cutting fruit and vegetables on, and choose another cutting board for preparing poultry, seafood and raw meat. This will help stop cross contamination occurring in your kitchen.

Originally published