Salmonella belongs to the group of acute intestinal infections. This is a group of diseases that damage the human gastrointestinal tract. They are more prevalent among the population of large cities, characterized by a high centralization of food production and an increased population demand for semi-finished products and culinary products. Chicken eggs are of particular danger, as well as products made from them, including mayonnaise and dry egg powder, as well as cream products, which are often characterized as a breeding ground for salmonella growth if stored improperly.
The main triggers of salmonella infection are farm animals and birds, as well as a sick person or carrier. Salmonella for a long time remain viable in the environment: in-room dust – 3 months, in human feces – more than a month, on cotton fabric – up to a month, on oilcloth – up to a year, in an egg – 3 months, butter – 9 months, cheeses – 1 year, on frozen vegetables and fruits 2.5 months. In addition, salmonella is resistant to freezing up to -832F. At a temperature of 1040F, salmonella dies after 1-3 minutes.
Getting on food products, salmonella not only survives in them for a long time but also breeds, especially in milk and dairy products, meat products. People become infected with salmonellosis by eating foods that contain large amounts of salmonella as a result of improper cooking, in violation of the rules or their shelf life. Salmonellosis can also be caught through the household. More often, children become infected – when communicating with patients or carriers of infection that contaminate household items, as well as through dirty hands, toys, dirty nipples, or in violation of basic personal hygiene rules. The susceptibility to infection in children under one year of age is 10-15 times greater than in schoolchildren and adults.
Salmonella disease is recorded throughout the year and increases in the summer-autumn period. From the moment of infection to the onset of clinical signs, salmonellosis can take several hours (with foodborne infection), and sometimes several days (more often with a contact-household route of infection), up to an average of 7 days. The more bacteria and their toxins enter the body, the shorter the incubation period and the more severe the disease. Most often, the disease begins with intoxication (fever, impaired well-being) and signs of damage to the gastrointestinal tract (vomiting, often repeated and profuse, stools are liquid, foamy, dark green in color).
To prevent the disease, it is necessary to know and follow elementary rules:
- separate kitchen appliances and cutting boards for cutting raw meat and ready-to-eat foods;
- eggs used for cooking and pastry should be clean;
- all food products should be stored closed in clean dishes, perishable within the acceptable time limits in the refrigerator;
- store ready-to-eat foods separately from raw foods;
- salads and vinaigrettes are best eaten immediately after cooking, in extreme cases, they can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 12 hours;
- carry out thorough heat treatment of all products, the colorless juice, which is released when it is pierced with a fork, indicates the readiness of portioned meat;
- if food remains for the next day, then they must be subjected to heat treatment;
- use milk purchased on the market only after boiling;
- strictly follow the rules of personal hygiene: wash hands with soap before cooking and eating, after going to the restroom, walking on the street.