How to keep your foods safe from salmonella

According to the CDC, there are over a million cases of salmonella in the United States every year. 
Contaminated food being the number one cause. Shelby Rose explains what you can do to make sure you aren’t one of them.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can make someone pretty sick for about a week, and can be as serious as causing death.

“Common outbreaks are usually linked to animal products like eggs or poultry, raw meats like ground beef,” said Laura Cronquist, an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health. 

Within the last week, foods like Honey Smacks cereal and pre-cut melons have been added to the list of outbreaks across the country. But how often to people check what they eat?

Bismarck resident Gerold Doll said, “I check everything. Everything on the package, the ingredients, the dates.”

“Not completely diligent. I do check, and I listen. If it’s vegetables, I wash them a little extra carefully,” added Bismarck resident Sandy Sande.

While many grocery stores are diligent about taking recalled products off the shelves, there are some extra steps you can take. The FDA will list the UPC codes of potentially contaminated products. And you can easily find that right below the bar code.

Cronquist added,  “The CDC and FDA websites are good resources for information on current outbreaks.” She says it’s hard to pin-point where the salmonella bacteria comes from and how these foods get infected. But doing things like making sure meat is cooked through and vegetables are washed can lessen that risk.

“Generally the bacteria grows better in warmer temperatures. So, make sure that you’re keeping cold foods cold, hot foods hot, things like that. That will help you avoid getting sick,” said Cronquist.

So far, there haven’t been any cases of salmonella from Honey Smacks or pre-cut fruit in North Dakota.
But there have been 3 cases of E. Coli linked to romaine lettuce within the last month and a half.

The FDA has a webpage dedicated to recent outbreaks. You can find that here, https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/default.htm.

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