Foodborne illness comes in many varieties, with Salmonellosis being one of the most common. Every year, approximately 42,000 cases of Salmonellosis, caused by the bacteria Salmonella, are reported in the United States, with an estimated twenty-nine times that going unreported. There are four serotypes of the bacteria, the two most common in the US being Typhimurium and Enteritidis.(CDC, 2012).
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, and blood in the stool. Some variant strains of salmonella can result in typhoid fever, which can be deadly. For the most part, however, the incubation period ranges from several hours to two days, and symptoms last four to seven days and in an otherwise healthy person the immune system can fight it off on its own.
Because salmonella shares symptoms with other infectious diseases, such as influenza, it can be difficult to determine if a patient actually has a salmonella infection without doing tests. Because of this, doctors often do not order these tests unless it is a serious case due to the fact that most patients will be over the infection by the time the tests show results. (Mayo Clinic 2011)
The bacteria lives in the intestines of humans, non-human animals, and birds. Most infections are caused by eating foods that have been contaminated by feces either through the butchering process of raw meats and poultry, or seafood harvested from contaminated water. Some infected chickens can produce eggs that contain salmonella before the shell is even formed. Even fruits and vegetables can become contaminated if they are hydrated in a field or washed during processing by contaminated water. Contamination can also occur in the kitchen if the juices from raw meat or poultry are allowed to come into contact with uncooked foods such as salad. (Mayo Clinic, 2011)
Because salmonella infection can be dehydrating, the most common...