4 Facts About Salmonella and its Role in Recalls for Food Technology Training Students

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If you’ve followed the news about food recalls lately, you’ve probably noticed a common culprit in many of them: salmonella. In fact, in the United States 98.6 percent of the Food Safety and Inspection Service’s bacteria-related recalls are due to salmonella. In Canada, meanwhile, there are currently ongoing recalls due to salmonella affecting chicken nuggets, raw turkey, and organic tea.

Because of salmonella’s role in so many food recalls, anybody considering a career in food safety should understand what salmonella is and how it contaminates food. Let’s take a closer look at four facts about salmonella and why it plays such a big role in recalls.

1. Salmonella Is a Bacteria That Often Finds its Way to Raw Foods

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and humans. Animal feces that come into contact with foods are the most common cause of salmonella contamination. For example, fruits and vegetables can become contaminated by animal droppings while being grown on farms. Also, foods can become contaminated by salmonella in food processing facilities where equipment may have already been contaminated. Raw chicken often gets contaminated by salmonella during food processing. Chickens that are already infected with salmonella can also lay eggs that are likewise infected.

2. Students in Food Technology Training Know Salmonella Affects Many Types of Food

Foods like poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables are commonly implicated in salmonella-related recalls. However, they are far from the only types of food that can become contaminated. Cereal, crackers, cookie dough, candy, rice, tea, and many other types of food have all been subjected to salmonella-linked recalls. This often happens when equipment at food plants is contaminated, thus spreading the bacteria to the foods themselves. You’ll learn more about keeping food facilities safe from salmonella in your food technology training, during which you’ll study food processing and food facility audits.

Contaminated food plants are a common source of salmonella-linked recalls

Contaminated food plants are a common source of salmonella-linked recalls

3. For Some People, Salmonella Poisoning Can Be Extremely Dangerous

Salmonella poisoning is very unpleasant and the most common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, chills, nausea, fever, and stomach cramps. The good news is that for the vast majority of people medical treatment is not necessary and symptoms usually subside in two to seven days. However, in young children, pregnant women, seniors, organ transplant recipients, and those with compromised immune systems salmonella is much more serious and they should seek medical attention immediately. The most serious danger from salmonella poisoning is that extreme diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which can be life-threatening for some.

4. Food Technology Training Can Help You Develop Safe Food Handling Practices

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of salmonella is to use safe food handling techniques, which you will learn about during your food technology certificate. Cooking food properly, such as chicken and eggs, will usually kill off most salmonella. However, cross-contamination can also happen before food is cooked.

For example, handling fruits and vegetable after handling raw chicken can spread salmonella, as can using the same areas to prepare and store different types of food. Hand washing is one of the best ways to combat salmonella. In your training you will receive a food handler certificate which can help you develop better food handling techniques and reduce cross-contamination in the food facilities you work in.

Hand washing can help prevent the spread of salmonella in food facilities

Hand washing can help prevent the spread of salmonella in food facilities

Are you interested in a career in food safety?

Contact AAPS College to learn about our food safety courses in Toronto.