If you have ever had salmonella poisoning, you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience. Unnervingly, there are more than 2,500 strains of salmonella that can live on the food that we eat, but the good news is that there are many precautions we can take to kill the bacteria.
Read on to find out the ways that you can avoid the causes of salmonella at home, and protect yourself and your family from salmonella poisoning.
What is Salmonella Poisoning?
Salmonella is a group of bacteria that causes typhoid fever and food poisoning, among other illnesses. Salmonella causes symptoms such as fever and abdominal cramps, and although unpleasant, they usually clear up on their own in four to seven days. During this time, it’s important to get lots of rest, eat as normal (but avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee), and stay well-hydrated by sipping rehydration drinks.
What Causes Salmonella Poisoning?
The causes of salmonella poisoning usually involve eating food that has been contaminated with faeces, which isn’t a very nice thought, but there’s many ways that this contamination can occur.
Unwashed hands are one of the biggest culprits, whether that’s after going to the toilet, after handling pets (which can often carry the bacteria), or handling contaminated food, like beef, poultry, milk or eggs. If any of these foods are consumed without being cooked properly, it’s likely to cause infection.
- Wash hands regularly, particularly after using the toilet, changing nappies, handling pets, and before and after preparing food.
- Cook meat thoroughly and particularly avoid eating undercooked poultry or raw eggs.
- Use bleach-based products to clean surfaces after raw meat has been prepared.
- Dispose of dirty nappies carefully and hygienically.
How to Avoid the Causes of Salmonella
Salmonella poisoning is easy to catch, but it’s also easy to avoid if the right precautions are taken. Take extra care to avoid the causes of salmonella if you have young children, as they are most susceptible to the virus.
- Wash your hands regularly with antibacterial hand soap, especially before and after handling food, after using the toilet and after handling pets. Encourage kids to do the same.
- Use a bleach-based cleaning product, like Domestos, to clean surfaces after raw meat has been prepared in the kitchen.
- Don’t allow raw meat to come into contact with other cooked or raw foods.
- Cook meat thoroughly, and avoid eating raw eggs. In restaurants, don’t be shy about sending undercooked poultry back to the kitchen – it’s not worth the risk!
- Be stringent in your handling of dirty nappies – always make sure they are wrapped in a nappy bag before they go in the bin. Spray nappy changing surfaces with an antibacterial spray, like Cif, after use and wash hands thoroughly.
- If a family member is infected by salmonella, spray bathroom surfaces with antibacterial spray, and disinfect the toilet with bleach like Domestos after they have used the toilet.
- Soak dishcloths and cleaning cloths in diluted bleach to ensure that they are free of germs.
Put your mind at rest by following these tips – they’ll help keep you and your family safe from salmonella poisoning.