Salmonella bacteria are microscopic living bacteria that live in the intestinal track of humans and other animals and pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or other animals. Salmonella bacteria cause one of the most common intestinal infections in humans, known as salmonellosis.

Salmonella is usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces. Salmonella can also cause foodborne infections through cross-contamination, e.g., when juices from raw meat or poultry come in contact with ready-to-eat foods, such as salads. Food may also become contaminated with Salmonella by the unwashed hands of an infected food handler.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, which usually occur within 8 to 72 hours after the Salmonella-contaminated food was eaten. Additional symptoms may include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting. Typically, symptoms disappear within 4 to 7 days.

Many people with salmonellosis recover without treatment and may never see a doctor. However, Salmonella infections can be life-threatening especially for infants and young children, pregnant women and their unborn babies, and older adults, who are at a higher risk for foodborne illness. Salmonella infections are also particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients.

If you or a loved one were injured by a Salmonella-contaminated product, such as one of the peanut butter products subject to the January 2009 Peanut Butter Corporation of America (PCA) recall, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact one of our experienced attorneys today for a free and confidential case evaluation. 

Published November 17, 2011 by