What is salmonella?

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Salmonella is a very well known form of food poisoning, commonly associated with the eating of infected poultry products.

Salmonella is commonly caught from:

  • handling raw meat especially poultry
  • eating undercooked meat or poultry or egg products or other contaminated food products
  • untreated milk or dairy products
  • direct contact with animals
  • close contact with another infected person

The illness usually occurs within 6–72 hours of infection.

  • fever, a feeling of being generally unwell, abdominal pains
  • headaches, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Symptoms normally persist for several days. For the very young, the elderly or people who are already unwell, salmonellosis may be more severe and require hospitalisation.

  • Wash hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before preparing meals or eating
  • Young children with the infection should have their hands washed for them or be supervised
  • Disinfect all areas in the toilet daily (including door handles) 
  • Infected people should stay away from work until they have been free of symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting for at least 48 hours
  • If the infected person is in a high risk group e.g. is a food handler, nursery worker, nurse or carer for the elderly etc. they cannot return to work until they have been completely recovered for 48 hours. Sometimes clear faecal specimens (negative results) are required. Also, it may be necessary to temporarily exclude infected children from playgroups, nurseries, childminders or schools. An Officer from the department will inform you if exclusion is necessary and when you are able to resume activities

If you report your infection, the council’s investigating officer will give you a more general leaflet on infection control.

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