If there’s a stomach flu going around, you definitely don’t want to find out the hard way what that entails.
Good News First
But there’s no need to worry. It’s probably not the flu, and it’s probably not contagious.
People may call a stomach illness the flu, but more often than not, they’re wrong. Flu symptoms tend to be muscle aches and sinus problems. But doctors will tell you that many, if not most, of those temporary digestive illnesses we experience are unrecognized cases of food poisoning.
Then The Bad News
And the biggest culprit is salmonella enteritidis. Salmonella enteritidis usually infects meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs or milk.
It’s tempting to point the finger at some restaurant, but 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. Defrost meat in the fridge or the microwave. Make sure you’ve cooked meat all the way through, at least at 170 degrees–especially big things, like a turkey. Don’t eat off the same plates you used to handle food before it was cooked.