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What to know about salmonella outbreaks


Salmonella outbreaks happen too frequently, most recently with onions and salami snacks making headlines for causing sickness in over 800 people between the two contaminated foods. Food that is carrying the bacteria usually does not look, smell or even taste spoiled. But, it can lead to infection that may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever six hours to six days after exposure. Most otherwise healthy people will be sick for around four to seven days and can recover at home, but those who are more vulnerable to salmonella may have severe cases and need care in a hospital setting. Adults over the age of 65, children under the age of five, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe illness or even life-threatening conditions due to their more fragile immune systems.


Potential complications of salmonella can include aortitis, an infection that can be difficult to treat. Another complication may be irritable bowel syndrome, about one in nine people who get food poisoning will develop irritable bowel syndrome from it. Lastly, about five percent of people who recover from salmonella develop reactive arthritis.


It is estimated that the bacteria causes approximately 1.35 million illnesses and over 400 deaths each year in the United States. Salmonella is responsible for many cases of food poisoning. Anyone who suspects they may have food poisoning should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about possible exposure to salmonella because testing is necessary to diagnose it. Salmonella symptoms can seem like other illnesses, which can lead to a misdiagnosis otherwise.


Salmonella is one of the main pathogens of foodborne illness throughout the world. There are many opportunities for food contamination to take place in the complex food supply chain. Which is why our pathogen test kits were developed, so that processors and suppliers can help make sure all products are contamination free and outbreaks stop happening.


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