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Food for thought as salmonella spikes in SA

Salmonella cases are already 15% higher than the five year average with nearly 1200 South Australians struck down with food poisoning so far this year.

Dr Fay Jenkins, SA Health Director of Food and Controlled Drugs, said on average there are 1172 reports of salmonella across the state each year. “With 12 outbreaks and 1182 people struck down with food poisoning in 2017 already, we have recorded more salmonella cases to date than we normally see in a full year. Of particular concern is that 17% of those cases have been in children aged less than five years.”

In addition Dr Jenkins said that, “Food poisoning can have serious or even fatal consequences in young children, older people, pregnant women and those who are unwell as their immune systems leave them particularly vulnerable. Salmonella can be a serious infection and can lead to nasty symptoms like fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, headache, stomach cramps, and nausea and vomiting.”

Whilst the exact cause of salmonella is often hard to pinpoint Dr Jenkins indicated that unsafe egg handling is a common factor.

“Eggs are tasty and nutritious, so it would be a shame to fall ill. To reduce the risk of sickness, do not use eggs if they are cracked or dirty, wash your hands after handling eggs and keep raw egg products like aioli, mayonnaise and mousse,  refrigerated. Of course, eggs are only one of many sources of salmonella, so being aware of food safety in and out of the home is more important than ever.”

With cases of salmonella on the rise it is important for people to be vigilant about handling, cooking and storing food correctly as most cases of food borne illness are preventable through good hygiene and safe food handling practices.

 

Source : SA Health, 13th November 2017