Parents are often aware that salmonella can be hiding in contaminated foods such as raw meat and eggs, but what are the harmful effects of these bacteria and how can you spot the symptoms in children?
Salmonella bacteria are passed to humans when food is not handled or cooked properly. Common foods that contain the bacteria include raw poultry, seafood, soft cheeses, raw milk, and other raw meats. Chicken meat and eggs pose the highest risk of contamination. Thousands of salmonella poisoning cases are reported each year, and symptoms generally occur 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Much of this information is available on the Internet. Urge your family, particularly teens, to understand the danger.
Salmonella poisoning symptoms include:
- Severe diarrhea (possibly with blood in the stool)
- Abdominal cramping
If your family is exposed to nationally-recalled products that are reported to contain salmonella, you may consider contacting one of the class action attorneys Los Angeles has to offer. This is especially true if your child develops Reiter’s syndrome from the salmonella poisoning.
To prevent salmonella from contaminating your home, practice proper handling and cooking techniques:
- Never feed children raw or undercooked meat or eggs
- Do not give children unpasteurized milk
- Store raw meat on the lowest shelf in the refrigerator to prevent the juices from dripping on other foods
- Wash all produce thoroughly before serving
Be aware that pets can also spread salmonella through their feces, especially reptiles. Practice thorough hand washing after handling pets and instill this practice in your children. If you suspect your child has symptoms of salmonella poisoning, contact your doctor immediately.