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Archive for December 18th, 2010

Salmonella ‘Sausages’

Posted by feww on December 18, 2010

Foodborne Illnesses Kill 5,000 3,000 Americans and Sicken 76 48 Million Each Year: CDC

About 1 in 4 6 Americans¹ (or 76 48 million people) gets sick, 325,000 128,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 3,000 die from foodborne illnesses, CDC reported.

[NOTE ¹: The new CDC figures have been politically revised.]

Amazingly, most of the viruses are never identified, the agency report adds.

Image of the DaySalmonella ‘Sausages’

Under a high magnification of 10431X, half that of PHIL 10566, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) revealed a colony of Gram-negative bacilli, or rod-shaped Salmonella sp. [Salmonella typhimurium] bacteria. The genus Salmonella is a member of the taxonomic family, Enterobacteriaceae, and approximately 2000 serotypes of this genis are known to cause disease in human beings.

How do people catch Salmonella?

Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals, including birds. Salmonella are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces. Contaminated foods usually look and smell normal. Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but any food, including vegetables, may become contaminated. Thorough cooking kills Salmonella. Food may also become contaminated by the hands of an infected food handler who did not wash hands with soap after using the bathroom.

Salmonella may also be found in the feces of some pets, especially those with diarrhea, and people can become infected if they do not wash their hands after contact with pets or pet feces. Reptiles, such as turtles, lizards, and snakes, are particularly likely to harbor Salmonella.  Many chicks and young birds carry Salmonella in their feces. People should always wash their hands immediately after handling a reptile or bird, even if the animal is healthy. Adults should also assure that children wash their hands after handling a reptile or bird, or after touching its environment. Photo Credit: Janice Haney Carr, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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