Salmonella scares on rise - what you can do to stay safe

- Pre-cut melon has led to a salmonella scare. Dozens of people in several states, including Michigan, have gotten sick with the salmonella infection after eating the pre-cut melon. 

As a matter of fact, because of melons' textured outer skin, it can often harbor bacteria, making them a top salmonella concern. 

Salmonella is typically brief, with stomach cramps and diarrhea that can last anywhere from 4-7 days. However, it could take a few months before a person's bowel system is back to normal.

Salmonella is more common in the summer months than the winter. It's also more likely to affect children. 

Doctors say salmonella bacteria can live in the digestive track of humans and other animals, and can be passed out of the intestines through stool. Also eating undercooked beef, poultry and seafood, as well as foods that contain raw eggs, puts a person at high risk of contaminating salmonella. 

Even by just touching certain animals, like turtles, snakes, chicks or baby birds, a person could easily transmit the bacteria.

Even though we often hear about salmonella on the news, it often happens very simply in your own kitchen. You can get sick after eating foods that was prepared on surfaces that were in contact with raw meat, like a cutting board or counter top. 

The most important thing you can do to stay healthy at home is to wash your hands before preparing food; thoroughly cook the food; and avoid cross contamination. 

If you buy melon to slice at home, bring it home in its own bag. Then, wash the melon with warm water, and wash your hands and the cutting board after you slice it and get rid of the rind or peel so there's less risk of contamination. 
 

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