Knowing how to get rid of something as complex and threatening as salmonella requires knowing just what this thing is. A simple definition states that salmonella is a form of bacteria common in the intestines of several animals, including humans. It’s also found on objects around us. The problem with salmonella is that it can cause a serious infection under certain conditions.

Salmonella bacteria generally enter the body through the mouth. Most descriptions of potential problems give such examples as working with animals and getting traces of feces-contaminated salmonella in the body or putting the bacteria into our bodies when we drink from a contaminated glass or put another contaminated object in our mouths. So, getting rid of salmonella initially involves keeping our hands and personal objects clean and free of contamination.

Clean and Dry
This type of bacteria thrives in moist places. Salmonella doesn’t live and grow in direct sunlight either. So, if we can keep our environment/homes dry and well-lit we should be protected, right? That would certainly help, a lot! But there are other factors to consider when trying to get rid of salmonella. For example, it may not be possible to eliminate potential salmonella problems on the farm when farming methods include fertilizing with manure that has to be stored.

Salmonella lives for a long time in manure but the farmer will experience fewer problems if manure is spread out and exposed to sun and wind. It’s important to use the same precautions when working with and handling compost and other organic materials. Regular spreading of the materials to expose them to the air and sunlight will help keep bacteria numbers down. Wearing gloves and thoroughly cleaning the hands will help as well.

Members of farm families are certainly not the only people at risk for salmonella infection. Some people contract this serious illness from improper handling of food in the home, for example. Foods should be carefully covered and stored at the proper temperature. Salmonella bacteria grow quickly when food is left on the counter at room temperature. Food should be refrigerated immediately after using.
It’s not a good idea to defrost frozen foods by letting the items sit for hours at room temperature. Bacteria grow quickly in these conditions. It’s much wiser to defrost food over a longer period of time in the refrigerator or to use the microwave to speed up the process. Keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Room-temperature warmth is not a good idea.

Already There?
Salmonella bacteria that enter the human body can start show effects in a matter of hours. Early symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, as well as cramps and diarrhea. Children, older people and those who are already weakened by illness may have a higher risk of strong symptoms.

If you or someone in your family becomes ill with these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. The doctor will problem perform tests on blood or stool samples and then use a regimen of fluids and drugs that specifically attack salmonella bacteria.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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