Salmonellosis happens when people eat contaminated food or come in contact with animals and their environment. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sources include contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables -- like melons and alfalfa sprouts -- spices and nuts. Animal sources include reptiles, amphibians and birds. Pet food and pet treats are also sources of salmonella.
What are the symptoms of salmonella infection?
According to the CDC, people infected with salmonella have fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after being infected. The illness typically lasts four to seven days. Most people recover without hospitalization or other treatment.
Salmonella is more dangerous for older adults, children under 5 years old and people with weakened immune systems.
How can I prevent salmonella infection?
Thoroughly cooking and the pasteurization of food kills salmonella. Eating raw or undercooked food increases the risk of getting a salmonella infection. The CDC says utensils, cutting boards, dishes and counter tops should be washed with hot, soapy water after preparing uncooked food items. Hands should also be washed with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling uncooked food.
Surfaces that come in contact with food should be sanitized with a fresh solution of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water. Raw meat, eggs and poultry should not be washed before cooking to prevent spreading bacteria. Separate cutting boards should be used for raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
Raw meat, poultry and seafood should be separate from ready-to-eat foods like deli meat and salads.
Eggs should be stored in the main part of the refrigerator, not in the door.
Foods should be cooked thoroughly to a safe internal temperature. The proper temperature depends on the food item, but food should be microwaved to 156 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Perishables, prepared foods and leftovers should be frozen or refrigerated within two hours or within one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.
Officials with egg production company Cal-Maine Foods Inc. announced on Tuesday a recall of 23,400 egg packages sold under the Publix store brand amid concerns about a possible salmonella contamination.
The recall includes Publix store brand 18-pack packages of Grade A Extra Large eggs, which were distributed between Jan. 11 and April 12 from a Rose Acre Farms facility in North Carolina. The eggs were repackaged by Cal-Maine Foods Inc.
As holiday bakers took to kitchens nationwide last week, the FDA reminded people to refrain from eating raw cookie dough or face the possibility of getting sick.
The warning comes after the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and state officials investigated an E. coli outbreak linked to raw flour that in 2016 sickened 63 people in 24 states.
The outbreak started in December 2015. The CDC determined at least half of those who fell ill made something at home with flour. Subsequent tests linked the outbreak with General Mills flour produced in Missouri, and the company issued a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour.
Although many people know about the danger of getting salmonella poisoning from raw dough, fewer people may be aware that eating raw flour carries its own risks.
"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria," Leslie Smoot, a senior advisor in the FDA's Office of Food Safety, said last year.
The bacteria is killed during cooking or processing through boiling, baking, roasting, microwaving or frying. However, raw dough does not go through any of those "kill steps," according to the FDA.
For anyone who still hopes to use raw cookie dough in something like homemade cookie dough ice cream, authorities suggest using commercially made dough.
"Manufacturers should use ingredients that include treated flour and pasteurized eggs," FDA officials said.
The FDA released the following food handling tips for handling raw flour:
Do not eat any raw cookie dough, cake mix, batter, or any other raw dough or batter product that is supposed to be cooked or baked.
Follow package directions for cooking products containing flour at proper temperatures and for specified times.
Wash hands, work surfaces and utensils thoroughly after contact with flour and raw dough products.
Keep raw foods separate from other foods while preparing them to prevent any contamination that may be present from spreading. Be aware that flour may spread easily due to its powdery nature.
Follow label directions to chill products containing raw dough promptly after purchase until baked.
In an update from officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Friday, the number of people sickened in the salmonella outbreak involving Maradol papayas has grown.
A total of 109 people from 16 states have been infected in the salmonella outbreak as of Aug. 3, the CDC said in a news release.The states involved are CT, DE, IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, TX, VA, and WI.
One death has been reported, and 35 people have been hospitalized, according to the CDC.
An additional strain of salmonella tied to Maradol papayas imported from Mexico has also been discovered, the CDC reported.
The FDA has found salmonella strains in other papayas from Carica de Campeche farm, which expands the original recall notice that urged consumers to avoid Caribeña brand Maradol papayas, distributed by Grande Produce.
The CDC and FDA are continuing their investigation to determine where in the supply chain the papayas became contaminated.