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Basics about Salmonella

Salmonella, the name of a group of bacteria, is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United States. Usually, symptoms last 4-7 days and most people get better without treatment. But, salmonella can be more serious in older adults, infants, and persons with chronic illnesses.


  • Food: Contaminated eggs, poultry, unpasteurized milk or juice, cheese, contaminated raw fruits and vegetables (alfalfa sprouts, melons)
  • Animals and their environment: Particularly reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards), amphibians (frogs),and birds (baby chicks). If you don’t wash your hands carefully after touching an animal or its environment, you could get a Salmonellainfection.

Incubation Period

1-3 days


Diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, vomiting

Duration of Illness

4-7 days

What Do I Do? Drink plenty of fluids and get rest. If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration or if your symptoms are severe, call your doctor. Antibiotics may be used if the infection spreads from the intestines.

General Information

Salmonella Infections (NIH MedlinePlus)
Trusted health information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.

Salmonella (CDC)
General information plus details on previous outbreaks.

Salmonella and Salmonellosis (USDA)
General information plus directives and notices, compliance guidelines, data collection and reports, and more.

Salmonella (FDA)
From the Bad Bug Book ; provides basic facts, including associated foods, frequency of disease, complications, and target populations.

podcast icon Don’t Kiss a Frog (CDC)
The danger of reptiles and amphibians carrying and spreading salmonella and how to prevent infection
Listen to the podcast or read the transcript (3:50 minutes)

Salmonella and Recalls

Salmonella has been associated with several major food recalls in the United States since 2008.


Consumers Check for Recalled Eggs (FDA)
How to check for recalled eggs. 

Recall of Shell Eggs (FDA)
Background information on the recall and investigation.

Investigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with Shell Eggs (CDC)
Includes a timeline of the nationwide outbreak.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

For Consumers: The HVP Recall (FDA)
Questions and answers about the recall of HVP manufactured by Basic Food Flavors, Inc.

Search the Database of Products Containing HVP (FDA)
Browse by food types or search by brand name or product name.You can alsoview the entire list of recalled products.

Black Pepper

Investigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Montevideo Infections (CDC)
Get details on the outbreak and see the outbreak map.

Details on associated recalls:


Pistachio Product Recalls (FDA)
Update on the 2009 recall, plus access to a searchable database of recalled products.

Peanut Products Recall (FDA)
Update on the 2008-2009 recall, plus access to a searchable database of recalled products.