As temperatures rise, NSW Health is warning people
to be wary of
with 252 cases already reported across the state last month.
Vicky Sheppeard, Director Communicable Diseases at NSW Health, said careful
preparation and storage of food is the best defence against salmonellosis – a
type of gastroenteritis caused by Salmonella
bacteria found in animals.
containing undercooked eggs and spreading germs in the kitchen are the most
common sources of salmonellosis outbreaks in NSW,” Dr Sheppeard said.
can be quite severe and in some cases, particularly with young babies, the
elderly and those with weakened immune systems, people have to be hospitalised
to manage dehydration.”
symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and
vomiting. Symptoms usually start around six to 72 hours after the contaminated
food is eaten and usually last for four to seven days.
“It is important
that people do not prepare food for others while they are unwell with
salmonellosis and, as a precaution, for 48 hours after symptoms have passed.”
Last summer, 1089
salmonellosis cases were reported in NSW, a more than 30 per cent reduction in
the number of cases reported at the same time two years ago, when the NSW Food
Authority introduced the NSW Food Safety Strategy.
NSW Food Authority CEO Dr Lisa Szabo said to
reduce the risk of Salmonella
poisoning, consumers and food retailers can use commercially produced products
instead of handmade mayonnaise and sauces.
“It is also much safer to use commercially
pasteurised eggs rather than raw eggs in ready-to-eat products such as desserts
and dressings,” Dr Szabo said.
“Businesses in NSW must comply with strict
requirements around the use of raw eggs in foods. In NSW, the sale of eggs with
dirty or cracked shells is prohibited, as these can increase the risk of
Dr Sheppeard said
food must be cooked thoroughly and not left out in the heat. “The longer food
is left out the more the bacteria will multiply,” she said.
food should be kept below five degrees and hot foods should be kept above 60
degrees. It’s a good rule of thumb that if food requiring temperature
control has been sitting on your table for more than two hours, you should
throw it out.”
can take the joy out of the festive season but just a few simple precautions
can make all the difference,” Dr Sheppeard said.
information click on the NSW Health Salmonellosis fact sheet.