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“Salmonella” gets its name from Daniel Elmer Salmon, a veterinary pathologist who ran a USDA microorganism research program in the 1800s. It’s a scary thing to have lurking in restaurants and home kitchens and poisoning can be anywhere from mild to deadly with symptoms like nausea, vomiting abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and chills and can result in gastroenteritis. Some strains are even scarier than we thought and it can be hiding in more places than we knew. Here are 7 scary Salmonella facts to freak out about.
1. Heidelberg is a monster version of salmonella, some strains of which are resistant to seven antibiotics, says Christopher Braden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention division of foodborne diseases.
2. A three-year study by the F.D.A found that nearly 7% of spice lots were contaminated with Salmonella. This is twice the average of all other imported foods. Which spices where they? Ones you most likely have in your kitchen right now: 12% of oregano and basil shipments and 4% of black pepper shipments were contaminated, with high contamination levels also found in sesame seeds, curry.
3. Scientists trapped 133 rats from 5 locations around Manhattan and took samples of their DNA. They found 15 to 20 of the bacterial and protozoan pathogens they tested for including salmonella from the rodents’ tissue, feces, urine, and saliva.
4. It only takes 15-20 Salmonella bacteria cells to infect a human.
5. Most Salmonella infections in the United States occur in the Northeast. Sorry, yins!
6. A few varieties of salmonella bacteria result in Typhoid fever. Symptoms of Typhoid may vary from mild to severe and usually begin six to thirty days after exposure.
7. 75% of Salmonella outbreaks in humans are associated with Grade A eggs. What’s for breakfast, you guys?