Protecting your family from salmonella contamination

Protecting your family from salmonella contamination
A microscopic view of salmonella.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Ritz Cracker Sandwiches with cheddar or cream cheese and Ritz bits are at the center of a recent recall, and now Pepperidge Farm is recalling four varieties of its Goldfish crackers. The issue - possible salmonella contamination.

This comes just weeks after a number of recalls including Kellogg's Honey Smacks. The cereal was recalled and linked to 100 Salmonella infections in 33 states.

According to CDC Food Safety Experts, Salmonella is often linked to produce items, like chicken and eggs, but they are seeing more shelf-stable products being linked to the illness.

Salmonella is a micro-organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

"Salmonella infections usually present themselves as gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, and fever. Most people think they ate something bad and don't realize they have gotten salmonella," said Rebecca Riggs, VP of Live Oaks Microbiology.

Unfortunately with shelf stable foods, there is not much you can do to avoid salmonella contamination, but you can lessen your chances of getting sick from foods you have to cook before eating.

"So when you cook your chicken or eggs you want to make sure you are cooking them thoroughly and all the way through," said Riggs.

With produce, while you may not be able to get all bacterial cells off, washing it thoroughly can help.

"Scrub it about a minute and then rinse it off," said Riggs.

For more tips on how to protect your family against salmonella contamination click here.

For a full list of recalls and alerts visit foodsafety.gov.

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