What is it?
First Aid

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness (food poisoning). It is most often found in water, eggs, chicken, turkey, and milk products, but it can also be found in other foods.

You may not be able tell if food has Salmonella by looking at or smelling it.  

Salmonella can also be on the skin of some animals like lizards, turtles, snakes and frogs.

What are the symptoms of Salmonella?

If you eat something contaminated with Salmonella it can take anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days for you to get sick. Salmonella can make you:

  • Feel sick to your stomach
  • Throw up
  • Have stomach cramps
  • Have diarrhea
  • Have a fever or chills

Older people, young children and people who already have a health problem can get seriously ill from Salmonella. However, most people will not get very sick.

What can I do about Salmonella?

If you think you are sick from Salmonella, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511. If you are throwing up a lot or have diarrhea, drink plenty of water.

Let your state health department know about your food poisoning:

  • Maine: 1-800-821-5821
  • New Hampshire: 1-603-271-4589
  • Vermont: 1-800-439-8550

How can I prevent Salmonella?

To prevent getting sick from Salmonella:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after touching food.
  • Wash dishes, knives, cutting boards and other kitchen items before and after handling raw food.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
  • Keep raw meat separate from other food.
  • Thaw meat safely.
  • Cook meat, poultry and fish thoroughly. Safe Cooking Temperatures
  • After cooking, put leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours.

If you handle an animal that could have Salmonella on its skin, don’t touch your face, until you’ve washed your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Last Updated: Tuesday May 17th 2016