The Scoop On Salmonella

July 27, 2018

See this beautiful picture here?

Credit: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=450281
Rocky Mountain Laboratories,NIAID,NIH
Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells.

It’s of the salmonella bacteria, one of the leading causes of recalls for fruits, vegetables, and other foods. Raw meat and eggs are typical breeding grounds for salmonella, and when ingested, the bacteria can cause symptoms like nausea and diarrhea. More recently though, salmonella has been detected in processed foods too, which means cereals, crackers, and other foods produced in factories are susceptible to salmonella as well. How does that happen? Bacteria can continuously adapt to new environments, and when certain strains end up in places like processing factories, they can actually change how they breed, grow, and evolve. Salmonella is often found in animal intestines and feces, and any surface that comes in contact with these breeding grounds needs to be properly washed in order to avoid contamination. Sometimes though, other factors, like water used to grow fruits and vegetables, could be the source of the bacteria.

This week, a salmonella outbreak prompted the recall of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and Ritz Crackers. Stores are pulling these products off their shelves until the companies resolve the issue.

Have you ever gotten sick from eating something bad? Share your not-so-fun story with us!