Salmonella a Food Safety Bad Guy

Saro Loucks

Saro Loucks

November 2, 2022

Salmonella a Food Safety Bad Guy

Sometimes it’s more fun to learn about the villains of food safety – Listeria, E-coli, insects, metal shards, Botulism (this one is really scary), and of course Salmonella which is everybody’s favorite. Haha, just kidding. But Salmonella is probably the most well-known food toxin that many people have had experience with. (More about this later, but a really good food safety software system like can help food businesses keep FDA compliant and prevent Salmonella contamination in their food products.)

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 Unfortunately, I believe I have been victim to Salmonella’s “explosive” ways. But, even so, I still to this day love Thai food! But I digress, let’s continue to learn about (drum roll) Salmonella.

What is Salmonella?

Salmonella is a rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium. 

How is Salmonella Introduced into the Food Supply?

Salmonella most often gets into our bellies from raw or uncooked foods contaminated with…..poop. Yuck, right? Animal AND human poop. This can come from unwashed hands or raw meats such as chicken which often carry salmonella.

How many people get sick with Salmonella poisoning each year in the United States?

According to the CDC, around 1.35 million Salmonella infections occur each year. Among that number, the CDC estimates these infections cause approximately 420 deaths and 26,500 hospitalizations. 

What are the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning?

The most common symptoms of salmonella poisoning are stomach cramps, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.  

How do you prevent Salmonella from contaminating food?

This is where a good food safety plan makes all the difference. A food safety plan that includes any or all of these systems and certifications (you MUST continue to follow the hazard controls for these to work, however) will help prevent Salmonella contamination and growth. HACCP, SQF, GMP, CGMP, GFSI, BRC, or a Costco audit have steps in place to prevent Salmonella contamination. 

      • Keep surfaces, hands, and utensils clean.

      • Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, produce, eggs (keep in the carton) separate from other foods in your fridge and grocery cart.

      • Keeps foods cold. Food should not be in 90℉ heat for more than 1 hour before refrigerating or freezing. Cold does not kill Salmonella but it can inhibit the growth of the Salmonella bacteria.

    How can Salmonella bacteria be killed?

        • Cooking to a temperature of at least 145℉ for beef, pork, lamb, veal, and ham can kill Salmonella. Ground versions of these meats must be cooked to 160℉.

        • Egg dishes must be cooked to a temperature of 160℉.

        • Poultry and ground poultry must be cooked to a temperature of 165℉.

        • Fish (with fins) must be cooked until the flesh is opaque or the temperature reaches 145℉.

        • Casseroles and microwaved food should also be cooked to the temperature of 165℉.

      Foodready is a food safety software and consulting company. Our software has a HACCP builder, food traceability, you can create your own checklists to manage your HACCP plan or track other items, ingredients, tasks, or events. With our Enterprise program you will have access to food safety quality assurance professionals who can help you with GFSI, SQF, GMP, SOP, BRC, CGMP, HACCP Consultant, FSMA Consultant, gap analysis, or prepare for audits like the Costco audit, the Whole Foods audit, Publix audit, Kroger audit, Safeway audit, Meier audit, HEB audit and more. 

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      Saro Loucks

      Saro Loucks

      HACCP Certified, food safety enthusiast.

      Try it out today!

      Give the FoodReady platform a try for free for 14 days.

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