Salmonella: prevention is better than cure
How do you describe Salmonella in a clear way so that everyone understands it? We’ll attempt to do just that in this article. Just like people, bacteria have a first and last name. The only difference is that we say a bacteria’s name the other way around. Salmonella is the surname and consists of a whole group of bacteria. All these different bacteria have their own first names.
Most people are aware that Salmonella can make you ill. However, it is important to know that in the case of bacteria, we are talking about two different ways of getting sick. This is because Salmonella has different variants (first names). The most common form of being ill is a food-borne infection, which can be treated with medication. This syndrome causes symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, and fever, which pass on their own in almost all cases. In addition to this form, it is also possible to develop food poisoning, where you become ill from the substance that the bacteria excretes. And then there is the toxin. An example of this is botulism, which is often in the news during the summer. The toxin (poisoning) is caused by Clostridium botulinum. This can’t be treated with medicine.
The Salmonella bacteria, which can be treated with medication, can easily be killed because the bacteria cannot survive at temperatures above 65 degrees Celsius. In this case, you can easily prevent a Salmonella food-borne infection. It is different with Clostridium bacteria. The temperature to kill this bacterium has to rise to 121 degrees Celsius and in order to achieve this, you must use sterilisation. This also applies to the inactivation of the toxin produced by this bacterium.
Prevent food-borne infection by avoiding Salmonella
Proper hygiene is and remains the most important thing to prevent poisoning. Things often go wrong due to contamination after preparation (cross-contamination). After a surface has been cleaned and the visual contamination has been removed, it is necessary to kill (disinfect) the bacteria present. A good heat treatment of over 65 degrees Celsius is sufficient to kill the bacteria in food.
- Store raw products in a refrigerated space (preferably < 4°C);
- Use fresh products;
- Do not allow prepared and unprepared products to come into contact with each other and use separate tools for prepared and raw products (avoid cross-contamination);
- Heat products to a minimum of 65°C (core temperature).
You can contact us for microbiological research in foodstuffs and animal feeds, both for Salmonella detection according to the ISO 6579 method and for the fast PCR method. In addition, we can carry out hygiene audits and assist in taking samples. Please don’t hesitate to send us all your questions via e-mail and by telephone on 088-214 4500.