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Salmonella food contamination

The number of Salmonella food contamination cases in Australia is increasing despite more education campaigns on food safety.

It is important that food safety supervisors ensure all staff understand the dangers to customers and business of food poisoning.

While food-borne illnesses dropped overall by 17 per cent in the decade to 2010, the two leading causes of hospitalisation, Salmonella and Campylobacter, increased by 24 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

Salmonella bacteria can be carried in undercooked chicken or eggs, while Campylobacter is usually found in raw or undercooked poultry meat and raw milk.

These safety measures can help prevent Salmonella poisoning:

  • Wash your hands before preparing food and after handling raw meats
  • Cook meat and eggs thoroughly until they reach an internal temperature of 160 F (71 C)
  • Don't eat foods containing raw eggs or milk, such as undercooked French toast
  • Avoid cooking raw meat in the microwave, as it may not reach a high enough internal temperature to kill Salmonella bacteria and may be unevenly cooked
  • Avoid bringing uncooked meat into contact with food that will not be cooked (i.e. salad)
  • Wash hands with soap after handling reptiles or animal faeces
  • Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom