Salmonella Safety

From the Desk of Mary Halsted

With the news media expounding on Salmonella issues, whether it be tomatoes, peppers, peanut butter or something new, we felt it was important to keep our valued customers and dealers informed of any Salmonella issues in regards to poultry. As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

 

Please read the following information given to us by the Iowa Department of Agriculture carefully…and heed their advice !

 

Protecting Your Family From Salmonella

 

What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a type of bacteria that is carried in the intestines of animals and can be shed into the environment. People typically become infected after eating contaminated foods or from contact with animals or their environments. Chicks, ducklings, and other poultry are a recognized source of Salmonella, children are especially at risk.

 

How do people get Salmonella from handling poultry?
People get sick from Salmonella by hand to mouth contact. Usually this happens when people handle birds or their droppings and then accidentally touch their mouths or forget to wash their hands before eating or drinking. Even
birds that do not look sick may be shedding Salmonella. And even though a bird looks clean, it may still have germs like Salmonella on its feathers or feet.

 

What kind of illness is caused by Salmonella in people?
Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. Occasionally people become sick enough to need to see a doctor or be hospitalized. Most people develop symptoms 1 to 3 days after being exposed to Salmonella, and recover
in about a week. Some people are more susceptible to infection and will have more severe disease. These people include young children, pregnant women, the elderly, people on chemotherapy, diabetics, and others with weakened
immune systems.

 

How can Salmonella infection be prevented?
Whether you raise chicks or ducklings as a source of food or keep them as pets, follow these steps to protect yourself and your family from illness:
•Do not let children less than five years of age or others at high risk handle poultry
or items contaminated by poultry.
•Wash your hands thoroughly after handling poultry or their droppings.
•Do not eat or drink around poultry or their living areas.
•Do not let poultry live inside your home.
•Do not wash the birds’ food and water dishes in the kitchen sink.

 

For more information go to: www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pdf/intown_flocks.pdf

 

For questions related to Salmonella; contact the IDPH Center for Acute Disease Prevention at 800-362-2736

 

IOWA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND LAND STEWARDSHIP
Bill Northey, Secretary of Agriculture