This salmonella scare is getting out of control. The peanut butter recall has become one of the largest recalls ever, as this week officials expanded the recall to all products derived from the Peanut Corp. of America's Georgia plant in the last two years. There are allegations that the plant was aware of the tainted products before distributing them, and federal investigators discovered problems like roaches and mold at the plant — gross. With all the commotion, let's take a moment to step back and understand what salmonella actually is.
- What it is: It's a bacteria that causes an infection in the lining of the small intestine, called salmonella enterocolitis.
- How it spreads: Unsanitary food preparation conditions or equipment can lead to food contamination, including undercooked chicken, turkey, or eggs.
- How long it lasts: You'll know if you have salmonella food poisoning within eight to 48 hours, and the illness lasts between one and two weeks.
To learn about the symptoms and treatment for salmonella,
- Symptoms: Those suffering from salmonella commonly experience abdominal pain or cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and muscle pain. Symptoms usually subside in two to five days.
- Treatment: Because persistent diarrhea can cause dehydration, it's important to drink electrolyte solutions to replace fluids. If vomiting prevents you from keeping fluids down, you may need intravenous fluids.