Rule #1 for how to avoid salmonella poisoning this spring: Do not eat chicken salad, especially products sold at Fareway grocery stores. Other helpful suggestions follow.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has developed symptoms of food poisoning after eating chicken salad, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Salmonella Prevention: The Basics
Okay, so now we know not to eat chicken that is being recalled for salmonella contamination if we want to avoid a salmonella infection, correct? There’s your kernel of wisdom for the day. Use it wisely.
However, aside from the obvious, what else can we do to protect ourselves from potentially harmful foodborne pathogens, namely salmonella? Let’s first take a look at the bacterium itself for a better understanding.
What is Salmonella Typhimurium?
Salmonella Typhimurium is the specific type of bacterium implicated in the chicken salad recall, and one of more than 2,500 distinct types of Salmonella enterica, according to the American Society for Microbiology. The differences between the types are characterized by the severity of the infectious diseases they cause, which is a result of differences in their genetic makeup. Salmonella Typhimurium is most frequently associated with animals and animal products that are eaten, and the bacterium can be transferred to humans through raw or undercooked infected food including meat and eggs.
Signs and Symptoms
The period between ingestion of Salmonella Typhimurium and the onset of symptoms ranges from several hours to 2 days. Most salmonella infections can be classified as stomach flu (gastroenteritis). Signs and symptoms of salmonella poisoning (salmonellosis) include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Blood in the stool
These symptoms usually last from 2 to 7 days, although in some cases it can take several months for the bowels to return to normal after the diarrhea.
Chicken and Food Poisoning
Year after year, Americans eat more chicken than any other meat, according to the North American Meat Institute. When properly cooked and served, chicken can be among the healthiest things you can eat; however, undercooked or raw chicken is often contaminated with salmonella, Campylobacter or Clostridium bacteria. If you eat undercooked chicken or other foods or beverages contaminated by raw chicken or its juices, you can get a foodborne illness, which is also called food poisoning. That’s why it’s important to take special care when handling and preparing chicken.
How Can I Prevent Salmonella Infection?
Now that you know what it is and what symptoms it causes, here are some simple steps you can take to avoid being the victim of salmonella food poisoning:
- Avoid eating high-risk foods (raw or lightly cooked eggs, undercooked ground beef/ poultry, unpasteurized milk)
- Keep food refrigerated at all times, until just before cooking.
- Clean hands with soap and warm water before handling food.
- Clean surfaces before preparing food on them.
- Separate cooked foods from ready-to-eat foods. Do not use utensils on cooked foods that were previously used on raw foods and do not place cooked foods on plates where raw foods once were unless it has been cleaned thoroughly.
- Cook foods to a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe temperature.
- Chill foods promptly after serving and when transporting.
- Wash your hand after contact with animals, their food or treats, or their environment.
Do I Have a Chicken Salad Lawsuit?
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in chicken salad lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new salmonella infection cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you fell ill from eating chicken salad (whether it was part of the current recall), you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.