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The most common questions around salmonella
In the home

Eggs in a bowl which can spread salmonella

We've all heard horror stories of someone catching salmonella, and we know it's got something to do with raw food, but how can you actually catch salmonella and how does it spread? This article answers the top questions around salmonella as well as doing some myth-busting around food hygiene.

Key Steps

  • If you’re wondering how to prevent salmonella, good hygiene around the house really is key.
  • The key to how to avoid salmonella is really to clean up regularly and use antibacterial cleaners to eradicate the germs that can cause you to get sick when working in areas like the kitchen and garden.
  • People often ask “how do you get salmonella?” and the main sources are food. However, infected products look no different to uninfected ones, so it is important to maintain good food hygiene at all times.

Salmonella is an unpleasant illness that thankfully affects ever-decreasing numbers of us these days. It is, however, still important to know how to avoid salmonella where possible as its symptoms aren’t too nice. Here’s a useful guide on where salmonella comes from, how to prevent salmonella and other important questions around the illness.

Where does salmonella come from and how do you get salmonella?

So, where does salmonella come from and how do you get salmonella? Salmonella spreads through the consumption of contaminated foods. The bacteria that cause it live in the intestines of animals and therefore affect related foods i.e. meat and dairy. It’s also sometimes found in soil, which means fruit and vegetables can get contaminated, too. Salmonella mainly lives in raw foods; however, cooked items can also become infected if they are stored together with raw things. Another source of salmonella is common household pets. Reptiles, especially tortoises and terrapins, are common carriers of salmonella, meaning they can spread infection when good hygiene is not observed.

How to avoid salmonella?

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to the question of how to avoid salmonella. Unlike food that’s gone off, items containing this bug look completely normal, so you can’t tell from smell or taste. That means the most important way to prevent getting salmonella is to observe good hygiene. It’s important to wash your hands regularly, especially before and after dealing with food. Be sure to give them a good scrub and be extra vigilant if handling raw items. It’s also important to wash your hands after going to the toilet or if you’ve changed a nappy. Because salmonella can be contained within soil, be sure to observe good hand hygiene after gardening and especially if you’ve handled pets. It’s also good to be careful when eating out – make sure the restaurant kitchen has recently been inspected and given a high hygiene rating.

How can you prevent salmonella poisoning during food prep?

It’s important to know how to avoid salmonella during food prep. There are some important food hygiene practices which minimise the risk. For example, you should always separate cooked and uncooked food, and store raw food at the bottom of the fridge so its juices don’t drip down onto other things.

It’s also important to wash foods thoroughly before eating them, especially uncooked fruit and veg as this can eradicate lots of nasty bugs. Make sure things are heated right through to the centre. And of course by keeping a clean kitchen at all times you’re reducing your likelihood of a build-up of bacteria. Scrub surfaces with a clean cloth then go over each area with a disposable anti-bacterial wipe or spray.

What to do if someone has salmonella

If someone in your family comes down with salmonella, it’s important to know how to prevent salmonella among other members of the family. Essentially, this means being even more vigilant about hygiene than usual. Wash all dirty clothes, bedding and towels in a washing machine on the hottest setting and be sure to disinfect the kitchen and bathroom thoroughly using products like Cif Antibacterial spray and Domestos bleach.

Make sure the person is getting adequate medical input. Usually the treatment for salmonella is simply rest and hydration, but be sure to check with a health professional. In severe cases you may be prescribed antibiotics; however, this is not always appropriate.

Salmonella certainly isn’t pleasant! By observing good hygiene around the house you can minimise your chances and help prevent the spread of this bug.

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If you are wondering “how can you prevent salmonella?” the best thing to do is to practice good hand hygiene. Try anti-bacterial hand washes to prevent the spread of germs.