Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells.
Colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph showing Salmonella typhimurium (red) invading cultured human cells. Rocky Mountain Laboratories/NIAI

People reminded about food handling to prevent salmonella

CASES of salmonella poisoning are currently on the decline in Central Queensland, according to recent statistics from Queensland Health.

The number of people admitted to hospitals across CQ to date is 80, which is a decrease from 96 last year and 106 in 2017.

People can contract salmonella by eating contaminated soil and food, such as meat, poultry, cracked or dirty eggs and some fruits and vegetables.

Symptoms include a fever, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.

They can appear from as early as six hours after contamination to as late as three days after.

CQ Environmental Health Services manager Paul Florian said preventing cross-contamination was key to stop the spread of salmonella.

"It is important that we do not contaminate ready-to-eat food with food or utensils that may have been contaminated with the bacteria,” Mr Florian said.

"Cutting boards, knives, storage containers that were used for raw meats should be washed and dried before being used for other foods.”

The size of the meats also have an impact on how fast the bacteria can spread.

"Meats that have been cut into small pieces create a greater surface area for the bacteria to grow, for example mince, sausages, hamburgers and chicken,” he said.

"It is important to ensure that these foods are cooked through so that there are no running juices and there is no pink colour inside - heat kills the salmonella bacteria.”

People who present symptoms of salmonella are urged to see a doctor.