Salmonella Infection Essay

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Salmonella Infection

The salmonella bacteria had been the twentieth century’s archetypical organism causing food poisoning, highly notorious for the 1988-89 crisis of salmonella in eggs. By that time, however, it had already been a topic of scientific and public health focus for more than a hundred years. Previously linked to animal foods, phage typing’s introduction during the 1940s started revealing the complex nature of its associations with its environment (Hardy, 2004).

Epidemiological Triangle

The Agent

The salmonella bacterium resides in living beings’ intestines. A majority of individuals contract salmonella infection after consuming feces-contaminated foods. Salmonella is an umbrella term referring to the cluster of bacteria giving rise to salmonellosis or salmonella infection within the intestinal tract. Different forms of salmonellosis include typhoid fever, enteric fever, food poisoning, and gastroenteritis. Salmonella poisoning has typically been associated with contaminated foods or water, particularly eggs, meat, and poultry. Disease symptoms, which typically manifest between 12 and 72 hours after getting infected, include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps (Nordqvist, 2017).

The Host

The foods most commonly infected by salmonella are:

Raw seafood, meat, and poultry: Feces might adhere to raw poultry or meat at the time of butchering. Likewise, seafood that is obtained from a contaminated water body might be infected.

Raw eggs: Though egg shells apparently look like the ideal barrier preventing contamination, a few infected chickens might produce eggs already containing salmonella prior to shell formation. Homemade hollandaise and mayonnaise sauce contain raw eggs (Nordqvist, 2017).

Vegetables and Fruits: Some imported fresh vegetables and fruits might be washed at the time of processing or hydrated on the field using salmonella-contaminated water. Further, contamination may take place even in one’s kitchen, when salads or other uncooked foods come in contact with juice from raw poultry and meat.

Additionally, the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has attributed a few salmonella outbreaks to contaminants within spices and has been looking for a means of increasing spices’ safety (Nordqvist, 2017).

The Environment

Weather pattern alterations may result in microbial contaminant transfer to herbs and leafy vegetables. Dry spells might give rise to dust storms, when dust settles on these green vegetables. Microbial growth rate increases with increase in temperature, impacting the populations of pests and insects situated around and in farms and causing human pathogen transfer to these vegetables. Further, relative humidity impacts human….....

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Akil, L., & Ahmad, H. A. (2017). Effects of Environment and Socioeconomics on Salmonella Infections. INTECH.

GSA. (2012). Salmonella infection - including symptoms, treatment and prevention. SA Health.

Hardy, A. (2004). Salmonella: A continuing problem. BMJ Journals, 541-545.

Hunter PR. (2003) Climate change and waterborne and vector-borne disease. Journal of applied microbiology. 1; 94(s1):37-46.

Nordqvist, C. (2017). Everything you need to know about salmonella. Medical News Today.

Roos, R. (2010). USDA estimates E coli, Salmonella costs at $3.1 billion. Retrieved from CIDRAP:

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