OPINION

Health and Wellness: Salmonella is a risky disease

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

Ever wonder about those signs in restrooms ordering employees to wash their hands before returning to work? Here’s why this is important. 

Salmonella is a bacterial disease that affects our digestive system. Typically, we become infected by contact with feces — either human or from animals. Humans usually come into contact with salmonella through food or water that has been contaminated by feces. 

Which food or water contains fecal bacteria? Some commonly infected foods include raw meat, poultry and seafood. Eggs not fully cooked and unwashed fruits and vegetables can carry salmonella. The disease can be spread by food handlers who are careless about using the same surfaces and tools between food preparation steps. 

Food you buy prepared could carry salmonella, and you can infect your food by not carefully washing your hands with soap and running water after using the toilet or changing a diaper. 

Everyone, especially people who prepare food, need to have clean hands. 

Mayo Clinic names the following symptoms for salmonella infection: nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache and blood in the stool. These issues may continue for 10 days. However, some people with salmonella infection don’t show any symptoms. 

Be careful preparing Thanksgiving dinner.