The Dangers of Salmonella Infection

Shoppers and consumers were surprised yesterday when Nestle Philippines, Inc. has voluntarily pulled out it beef- and chicken-flavored Maggi Rich Mami noodles from market shelves. Accordingly, traces of salmonella were discovered in two batches of the beef variant of the product. Though the affected batches were only the 11020598A2 and 11030598A1, Nestle has cautiously recalled all their products. Initial findings point out that the flavoring ingredient used was the cause of the contamination.

So what is salmonella? What are the dangers it poses?

Salmonella is a type of bacteria, and the kind that causes food poisoning is known as non-typhoidial salmonellae. It lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals, and is transmitted through foods contaminated with animal or human feces. Salmonella is not destroyed by freezing. However, it can perish after being heated to 55OC (131OF) for one hour, or to 60OC (140OF) for half an hour. To protect against Salmonella infection, it is recommended that food be heated for at least ten minutes at 75 °C (167 °F) so that the center of the food reaches this temperature.

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and occasional vomiting. They appear between 12 and 72 hours after exposure and last between 4 and 7 days. There is no treatment for Salmonella infection since it resolves on its own. Just keep patient hydrated by drinking plenty of water or an electrolyte solution. For some, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

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