Food Borne Illness Salmonella

“Food Borne Illness Salmonella” by Misty Smith. Originally published on April 21, 2014, for SCI 163 at the University of Phoenix.

Food Borne Illness Salmonella



“About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the CDC, and salmonella is the leading cause of foodborne illness. Salmonella causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States” (CNN, 2014).

Food Borne Illness Salmonella

Salmonella infection, also known as salmonellosis, is one of the bacterial diseases that can affect the intestinal tract. Salmonella is part of a group of bacteria that are known to cause typhoid fever, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, and other illnesses (“What Is Salmonella? What Is Salmonella Infection?”, 2009). The bacteria called Salmonella enteritidis (Lerner & Lerner, 2008) causes food poisoning in humans. The consumption of contaminated water, or foods such as meat, poultry, and eggs, can lead to a salmonella bacterial infection in human beings (“What Is Salmonella? What Is Salmonella Infection?”, 2009).


Salmonella transmission to humans can occur in various methods of cross-contamination. One of the most common methods of transmission is when cooks do not properly sanitize work surfaces that encounter raw meats before placing other foods on the surface. For example, a cook may use a cutting board to prepare raw chicken for cooking and then automatically place raw vegetables on the same unwashed board. Another method of transmission comes from eating raw vegetables without properly sanitizing them, as the soil they were grown in was possibly contaminated with salmonella. Humans contamination with salmonella bacteria can also occur by handling pets such as snakes, turtles, and lizards and then not using proper hygiene techniques such as washing hands (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2011).


“Approximately 1.4 million Americans are affected with salmonellosis every year, of which about 500 die, according to the CDC” (“What Is Salmonella? What Is Salmonella Infection?”, 2009). CNN (2014) reported in January that Tyson Food recalled nearly 34,000 pounds of chicken on fears of salmonella contamination. The recall was due to the fact that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed a link to a salmonella outbreak at a Tennessee correctional facility and Tyson products (CNN, 2014). The salmonella outbreak, in which seven people were sickened, was blamed upon mechanically separated chicken that had been packaged for institutional use only (CNN, 2014). Luckily, only two of the seven people who infected with the salmonella outbreak at the prison were hospitalized (CNN, 2014).

Symptoms & Treatments

Symptoms of salmonella-induced Gastroenteritis (food poisoning) include stomach cramps, bloody stools, chills, diarrhea, fever, headache, muscle pains, nausea, and vomiting (“What Is Salmonella? What Is Salmonella Infection?”, 2009). However, individuals can be infected with salmonella and show no symptoms (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2011). Individuals who are infected and do not know it can pass along the disease to others by not following basic sanitary rules, such as washing their hands before preparing food (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 2011). Treatment for salmonella infections varies by the severity of the infection. For mild infections, the treatment consists of fluid intake to prevent dehydration (Lerner & Lerner, 2008). More severe cases may need to be treated by antibiotics; however, antibiotics are not a recommended treatment method as antibiotics may prolong the bacteria in the feces and in return expose the victim to further contamination (Lerner & Lerner, 2008).


In conclusion, salmonella infections due to improper food preparation methods and improper hygiene can infect any human being on the planet. To prevent future outbreaks of salmonella, individuals and corporations must adhere to proper hygiene and cleaning rules. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be properly washed before consumption. Work surfaces in kitchen areas need to be cleaned after each use, and before a new food item touches them. Food preparers need to wash their hands more often and for longer periods with hot soap and water. Furthermore, factories that prepare raw meats and eggs must adhere to strict sanitization methods that are closely monitored to ensure the food they produce is not contaminated.



CNN. (2014). Prison inmates sickened by tainted chicken. Retrieved from

Lerner, E.L., & Lerner, B.W. (2008). Salmonella. The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, 5(), 3777- 3779. Retrieved from 0&v=2.1&u=uphoenix&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w&asid=e4caeb2db2097424fc843941e6ad dc59

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2011). Salmonellosis. Retrieved from

What Is Salmonella? What Is Salmonella Infection? (2009). Retrieved from



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