How to prevent salmonella poisoning

Aug. 5, 2011 at 8:52 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y., Aug. 5 (UPI) -- With 36 million pounds of ground turkey being recalled due to reports of salmonella, a U.S. infectious disease expert advises how to avoid the disease.

"In most individuals who are healthy, the illness that salmonella causes will be self-limiting, meaning it will resolve on its own without any treatment," Dr. Thomas A. Russo of the University at Buffalo says in a statement. "If you are healthy and you become sick from salmonella, you will experience diarrhea, you may run a low-grade fever and you may feel lethargic for a few days but you will improve fairly quickly."

However, those whose immune systems are compromised, can become much sicker from salmonella poisoning.

"Anyone who is taking steroids, individuals on certain cancer chemotherapies, transplant recipients on immunosuppressive drugs, those with sickle-cell disease, anyone infected with HIV/AIDS, people with certain rheumatologic conditions that are on biologic modulates such as TNF-alpha inhibitors as well as newborns and those older than age 70 would be at increased risk and should take extra precautions."

To avoid contamination grilling ground beef or turkey, Russo advises:

-- Always use a clean plate for cooked patties.

-- Any time someone touches raw meat, they need to wash their hands well and any surfaces they or the meat have touched.

-- Wash down kitchen surfaces with 1 tablespoon of bleach with one gallon of water.

-- Cook ground turkey to 160-165 degrees F. Check temperature with a thermometer.

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