Food recalls due to salmonella poisoning can happen from time to time, and they may leave you concerned about your health. While you do need to pay attention to recalls, be aware that you can easily prevent salmonella by taking proper care of your food.
Although salmonella, which typically causes diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, is a common infection, affecting roughly 1 in 6 people in the United States each year, most people who are affected recover without any treatment. In severe cases, rehydration and antibiotics are needed. Follow these guidelines when preparing food to keep you and your family safe from this type of bacterial food poisoning:
- Wash your hands and all cooking utensils, cutting boards, and counters with soap and hot water after handling raw meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and vegetables to prevent bacteria and germs from spreading.
- When it comes to soap, skip the antibacterial cleaners and go with regular soap. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that antibacterial soaps do not work any better than plain soap in fighting bacteria, germs, or infections, including salmonella, and they may even contribute to the resistance of antibiotics, causing bacteria to work around germ-fighting chemicals.
- Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly, and reheat leftovers well. Wash raw fruits and vegetables with hot water before consuming — or use one of the special veggie washes.
- Securely cover and refrigerate foods promptly, since bacteria tend to harbor and grow in raw or undercooked foods left at room temperature.