What is Salmonella

Salmonella is a type of bacteria. It is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Salmonella lives in the intestinal tract of humans and other animals, including poultry, cattle, cats, dogs, and reptiles. Most people are infected by eating foods contaminated with Salmonella, such as undercooked poultry, beef, eggs, or contaminated fruits and vegetables. Salmonella can also be spread from person to person.

Signs and Symptoms of Salmonella

The most common symptoms of salmonella food poisoning include vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, and body aches. Symptoms usually begin within 6 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food, and can last between 3 to 7 days.


Most people who are infected with Salmonella do not require any medical treatment. The illness usually resolves within a few days. However, some people may need to be hospitalized due to severe dehydration. If you think you may have a Salmonella infection, please contact your healthcare provider.


To prevent Salmonella infection, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands before and after handling food.
  • Thoroughly cook poultry, beef, pork, and eggs.
  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water.
  • Don't cross-contaminate – keep raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from other food items.
  • Avoid eating undercooked eggs.
  • Store food properly and refrigerate at 40 °F or below.