Salmonella is a “genus of bacteria that are a major cause of food borne illness throughout the world” (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008, n. p. ). The bacteria are rod-shaped, motile bacterium. However, there are nonmotile like gallinarum and pullorum. Salmonella is observable in animals, commonly in poultry and swine, as well as in environmental source of the organism such as water, soil, and insects. Facilities like factory surfaces and kitchen surfaces are also areas where bacteria grow (Walderhaug, 1992). Mode of Transmission Contaminated food is the main mode of transmission of the bacteria.
Salmonella is commonly acquired by human beings by consuming food that comes from animals like meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and others (WHO, 2008). The bacteria can infect various domestic animals, birds, as well as other wildlife. The food derived from these living things and even the consumption of these animals itself is the major cause of infection. People become even more susceptible to salmonella if the food they eat is not prepared properly. Furthermore, the bacteria could also be transmitted through water or by means of direct contact with infected animal or person.
However, such kinds of transmission are less likely to occur (Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, n. d. ). Possible Reservoirs for Salmonella Outbreak The primary reservoirs for nontyphodial Salmonella organisms are poultry, livestock, reptiles, and pets (Chatterjee, Varman, & Crevi 2006). This is due to the fact that salmonellosis is considered to be a zoonosis that has many animal reservoirs. As previously mentioned, the bacteria are commonly found in chickens, turkeys, pigs, as well as cows. Numerous domestic and even wild animals also serve as host for these organisms.
This is proven by a recent examination of various animals in the United States. Salmonellae are found to be present in 41% of turkeys in California, 50% of cultured chickens in Massachusetts, and in 21% of commercially frozen egg whites in Washington (Gianella, 1996). Possible Ways of Food Contamination The main reason for food contamination is the improper handling, preparation, and cooking of meals, especially of poultry products. Food coming from animals such as eggs and chicken that are infected with salmonella could transmit these bacteria if they are not properly cooked.
Food contamination could also take place during preparation. For instance, if the raw chicken used as an ingredient to make potato salad contains salmonella, the whole meal could be contaminated. Moreover, the outbreak of the bacteria is caused by the increase in the number of agents. This could occur through Salmonella typhi, which is responsible for causing enteric fever or typhoid fever. Salmonella typhi is only found in humans that could easily spread through foreign travel. People who travelled abroad acquired these bacteria through contaminated food and water.
They also become probable chronic carrier of these bacteria. In fact, in the U. S. , more than two-thirds of salmonella infection in 50,000 cases of Salmonella gastroenteritis and 400 cases of typhoid fever is due to foreign travel (Chatterjee, Varman, & Crevi 2006). Prevention Since the main mode of transmission of Salmonella is through contaminated food, the best possible way to prevent the outbreak of these bacteria is by means of food safety. Food safety pertains to conditions and practices which make sure that the quality of food is preserved in order to prevent contamination as well as food borne illnesses.
Some of the ways that would prevent food contamination are: washing of thoroughly of hands, making sure that all utensils used for food preparation are clean, properly storing food items to avoid cross-contamination, and cooking meals at the correct temperature to kill existing bacteria that are present (A. D. A. M. , Inc. , 2008). Furthermore, the environmental surroundings should also be kept clean especially because salmonella could also be found in water and soil. People should also be more careful of the water that they drink.