What do I need to know about salmonella and peanuts?
Mary Ann Yahl, RN, is an Infection Preventionist at Banner Behavioral Health Hospital.
Question: I read about a salmonella recall. What are the symptoms of salmonella and what should I do if I think I have salmonella poisoning?
Answer: With salmonella, symptoms typically include:
- diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
- abdominal cramps
Symptoms show up within 12 to 72 hours after infection and can range from mild to severe.
The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. However, infants, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from a salmonella infection than are others.
If you have any or all of the symptoms above, call your physician to get tested for salmonella.
Salmonella is most dangerous to the elderly, infants and people with weakened immune systems. These populations should seek medical attention right away if they have any of these symptoms for an extended period of time.
To best protect yourself, follow the FDA guidelines and wash your hands with soap and water especially after using the bathroom or cleaning up waste.
Most people will be advised to increase fluid intake to replace losses from diarrhea. More severe cases may require antibiotics to help speed recovery.
What families can do to protect themselves:
- Check your pantries for food with peanut butter and/or peanut products in the ingredients list. You can check the list at the FDA website for the list of foods that have been recalled.
- If you are unsure whether a product has been recalled avoid eating foods with peanut butter and/or peanut products, this includes snacks from vending machines and pet products as well.
- Dispose of any product on the list in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can.
- Know the symptoms and understand their severity. If you have the symptoms and have eaten anything with peanut product included, you should contact your primary care physician right away.
- Consumers with pets should know that some pet food and treats may contain peanut butter. If you have a recalled product, do not feed it to your pet or other animals.