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Austin Salmonella Attorney

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that causes infection by consuming contaminated food or water. Here’s how it works:

  • Ingestion: Salmonella bacteria enter the body when contaminated food or water is consumed. Common sources include raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and sometimes fruits and vegetables.
  • Colonization: Once ingested, the bacteria pass through the stomach and reach the intestines. There, they adhere to the lining of the intestinal wall.
  • Invasion: Salmonella bacteria invade the cells of the intestinal lining, triggering an immune response. This invasion disrupts the normal absorption and secretion processes in the intestines, leading to symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
  • Inflammation: The body’s immune response to the bacterial invasion causes inflammation in the intestines. This inflammatory response is responsible for many of the symptoms associated with salmonella infection, such as fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
  • Toxin Production: Some strains of Salmonella produce toxins that can further damage intestinal cells and contribute to the symptoms of the infection.
  • Spread: While the bacteria primarily affect the intestines, in severe cases, they can enter the bloodstream (a condition called bacteremia) and spread to other parts of the body, potentially leading to more serious complications like infections of the bones, joints, or other organs.
  • Excretion: The bacteria are eventually excreted from the body through feces. However, during the period of infection, the bacteria can be spread to others through improper hygiene practices, such as not washing hands thoroughly after using the bathroom.

Salmonella infections are typically self-limiting, meaning they resolve on their own within a week. However, severe cases may require medical treatment, especially to prevent dehydration and manage severe symptoms. It’s important to practice good food safety and hygiene to prevent infection and transmission.

What Can Consumers Do to Prevent Salmonella Infections?

Consumers play a crucial role in preventing Salmonella infections by adopting safe food handling and hygiene practices at home.

Proper Handwashing

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood.
  • Wash hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching pets.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another set for fruits, vegetables, and other ready-to-eat foods.
  • After preparing raw foods, clean and sanitize cutting boards, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water.

Proper Cooking Temperatures

  • Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), ground meats to 160°F (71°C), and whole cuts of meat to 145°F (63°C) with a rest time of at least three minutes.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure food reaches a safe internal temperature.

Safe Food Storage

  • Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours of cooking or purchasing (one hour if the temperature is above 90°F/32°C).
  • Keep the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C) and the freezer at or below 0°F (-18°C).

Choose Pasteurized Products

  • Select pasteurized eggs and egg products, especially when making recipes that call for raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as Caesar dressing or homemade ice cream.
  • Choose pasteurized milk and dairy products to reduce the risk of contamination.

Inspect Food Packages

  • Check expiration dates and avoid purchasing foods with damaged or compromised packaging.
  • Be cautious with foods sold in bulk bins or open containers, which can be more prone to contamination.

Thoroughly Wash Produce

  • Rinse fruits and vegetables under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking. Use a brush for produce with tough skins.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any remaining bacteria.

Austin Salmonella Statistics

Between 2014 and 2018, at least 200 Salmonella cases were reported in Travis County each year. 2017 had the lowest number of cases, with 223; the highest was 293 in 2014. In 2018, 264 Salmonella cases were reported in Travis County, with an incidence rate per 100,000 people of 21.5. For the same year, the state of Texas had 5,888 Salmonella cases reported, and the incidence rate was 20.5.

Salmonella is most prevalent in Travis County in people under 19, which follows the same trend as the statewide data. Between 2007 and 2017, the national number of Salmonella cases increased 13.1%.

Most recently, Texas has been affected by multistate Salmonella outbreaks related to charcuterie meats in 2024 and cantaloupes and fresh diced onions in 2023.

Call Us Today

Affected by Salmonella? Your health and rights matter. Contact The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or message us online for a free consultation. We’ll investigate your case thoroughly and fight for the compensation you deserve.