How to Protect Yourself Against Salmonella Poisoning
An estimated 40,000 cases of salmonella occur in the United States annually. To avoid an unpleasant sickness or a trip to the hospital follow these tips and protect yourself against salmonella poisoning.
Step 1: Wash your hands Wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom, handling raw meat or poultry, touching reptiles or birds, or cleaning pet feces. Washing your hands can help prevent spreading salmonella to your mouth or cross-contaminating food you are cooking.
Step 2: Wash produce Wash produce before eating. Salmonella can infect fruit and vegetables if they are irrigated with contaminated water or fertilized with contaminated manure.
TIP: Don't waste your money on fancy vegetable washes, which have little more effect than water.
Step 3: Cook meat Cook meat and poultry thoroughly and to proper temperatures. Don't rely on the color of the meat to determine when it's done -- use a meat thermometer.
Step 4: Avoid eating raw eggs Avoid eating raw eggs. Raw eggs are commonly found in foods like Hollandaise sauce, cookie dough, and eggnog.
Step 5: Avoid cross contamination of food Avoid cross-contamination of food. Uncooked meat should be kept away from produce, cooked food, and uncooked food.
TIP: Use separate cutting boards in the kitchen -- one for raw meat and one for fruits and vegetables.
Step 6: Clean your kitchen Clean any surfaces in your kitchen immediately after they have been in contact with uncooked meat. Wash each area with warm, soapy water or a mild bleach solution. A clean kitchen can save you a trip to the hospital.
FACT: Although salmonella is named after veterinarian Dr. Daniel Elmer Salmon, his research assistant actually discovered the first strain.