A Moment of Science

Something I Ate

There have probably been times when you thought you had the flu, but you really had food poisoning. Something I Ate on today’s Moment of Science.

While flu symptoms can include headaches, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, more often than not, flu symptoms tend to be muscle aches and sinus problems. But doctors will tell you that many of those temporary illnesses we experience are unrecognized cases of food poisoning.

The biggest culprit in food poisoning is salmonella enteritidis. Salmonella is most commonly associated with meats, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and even milk. Most cases of salmonella poisoning come from the home. It’s a resourceful little bacteria–it can even be carried around by cats and dogs.

Several things can help reduce the risk of salmonella food poisoning. Defrost meat in the fridge or the microwave. Make sure you’ve cooked meat all the way through, at least at 170 degrees F.–especially big things, like a turkey. Don’t eat off the same plates you used to handle the food before it was cooked.

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