Are there other risk factors for salmonella?

Anything that changes the digestive tract to make it easier for Salmonella bacteria to survive can increase the risk of getting the infection. These include:

  • Recent or extended antibiotic use. Antibiotics kill off many of the “good” bacteria in the stomach and intestine, making it harder to fight off salmonella infection
  • Antacids. Antacids lower the stomach’s acid level, which lets Salmonella survive better.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. These diseases damage the intestine lining, making it easier for Salmonella to attach and stay there.
  • Pets. Be especially mindful when there are both infants and pets in the house because salmonella can be transmitted by animals to people.

What are some tips for preventing salmonella?

  • When cooking, wash your hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry. Wash your hands in between handling different kinds of food (meat and vegetables, for example).
  • Wash fresh vegetables and fruit thoroughly before eating.
  • Cook food to the recommended safe temperature:
    • 145°F for roasts
    • 160°F for ground meats
    • 165°F for all poultry
  • Keep the refrigerator below 40°F.
    • Put prepared food in the refrigerator within 30 minutes after eating.
    • Keep foods that can spoil refrigerated.
    • Put fresh foods in the refrigerator promptly after grocery shopping.
  • Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Do not eat or drink foods containing raw eggs or raw (unpasteurized) milk.
  • Wash your hands with soap after handling snakes, lizards, or other reptiles; birds; or baby chicks.
    • Do not allow an infant or person with a weak immune system to touch reptiles or their environment.

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