Salmonella poisoning: what is it and how can you avoid it?

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SAINSBURY’S has recalled seven of its stir fry packet products because they might contain salmonella.

Staff will refund customers if they bring in Sainsbury’s Oriental Style Vegetable Stir Fry, Sainsbury’s Mushroom Stir Fry, Sainsbury’s Beansprouts, Sainsbury’s Mixed Pepper Stir Fry, Sainsbury’s Basics Stir Fry, Sainsbury’s Hot & Spicy Stir Fry and Sainsbury’s Sweet & Crunchy Stir Fry with use-by dates up to and including February 13.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s are recalling stir fry vegetable packets over salmonella risk

But how do you know if you might have salmonella poisoning and what can you do about it?

Sainsbury’s at Swansea Marina.


What are the symptoms of salmonella poisoning and how long do they last?

Diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

On average, it takes from 12 hours to three days for the symptoms to develop. They usually last for four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.

But if you become seriously ill, you may need hospital care because the dehydration caused by the illness can be life-threatening.

How do you get infected with salmonella?

You usually get salmonella by eating contaminated food. Salmonella bacteria live in the gut of many farm animals and can affect meat, eggs, poultry and milk.

Other foods like green vegetables, fruit and shellfish can become contaminated through contact with manure in the soil or sewage in the water. Contamination is also possible if raw and cooked foods are stored together.

It is impossible to tell from its appearance whether food is contaminated with salmonella. It will look, smell and taste normal.

Salmonella can be spread from person to person by poor hygiene, by failing to wash your hands properly after going to the toilet, or after handling contaminated food.

How can you avoid getting infected with salmonella?

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water: before preparing and eating food, after handling raw food, after going to the toilet or changing a baby’s nappy, after contact with pets and other animals — especially reptiles and amphibians.

Also keep cooked food away from raw food, wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating and cook food thoroughly, especially meat, so that it is piping hot.

And keep all kitchen surfaces and equipment including knives, chopping boards and dish cloths clean.

Wash vegetables like courgettes before cooking them.

What to do if someone has salmonella?

Wash all dirty clothes, bedding and towels in the washing machine on the hottest cycle possible.

Clean toilet seats, toilet bowls, flush handles, taps and wash hand basins after use with detergent and hot water, followed by a household disinfectant.

How do you treat salmonella?

Drink plenty of fluids as diarrhoea or vomiting can lead to dehydration and you can lose important sugars and minerals from your body. Your doctor may recommend a rehydration solution, available from your pharmacist.

Sometimes severe cases are treated with antibiotics.

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