Food for thought as salmonella spikes

Monday, 13 November 2017

Salmonella cases are already 15 per cent higher than the five year average, with nearly 1,200 South Australians struck down with food poisoning in 2017 so far.

SA Health Director of Food and Controlled Drugs, Dr Fay Jenkins said on average there are 1,172 reports of salmonella across the state each year.

“With 12 outbreaks and 1,182 people struck down with food poising this year to date, we have already recorded more salmonella cases than we normally see in a full year,” Dr Jenkins said.

“Of particular concern is that 17 per cent of those cases have been in children aged less than five years.

“Food poisoning can have serious or even fatal consequences as young children, older people, pregnant women and those who are unwell are particularly vulnerable.

“Salmonella can be a serious infection and can lead to nasty symptoms like fever, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, headache, stomach cramps, and nausea and vomiting.

“The exact cause of salmonella is often hard to pinpoint, but with some of the types of salmonella we see, unsafe egg handling is a common factor.

“Eggs are tasty and nutritious, so it would be a shame to fall ill. To reduce the risk of sickness, do not use eggs if they are cracked or dirty, wash your hands after handling eggs and keep raw egg products like aioli, mayonnaise and mousse refrigerated.

“Of course, eggs are only one of many sources of salmonella, so being aware of food safety in and out of the home is more important than ever.

“This is why people need to be vigilant about handling, cooking and storing food correctly as most cases of food borne illness are preventable through good hygiene and safe food handling practices.”

Food Safety Week 2017 started on Saturday, 11 November and will continue until Saturday, 18 November.

Food Safety Ambassador, chef Adam Liaw will be holding a cooking demonstration at the Adelaide Central Market on Thursday, 16 November, while SA Health and City of Adelaide staff will hold an information stall at the market on Friday 17 November. 

For tips on food safety, visit the website .

Salmonella cases in SA over the past five years

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Cases year to date (7/11) 769 862 1,029 1,103 1,370 1,182
Year total 842 977 1,210 1,271 1,561 1,182



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