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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kimberly N. Works

How Did Salmonella Get Into Our Food!!

I will tell everyone who will listen about my little garden.  I finally became a homeowner, so now I can continue the Work's family tradition of farming.  I have garlic, onions, kale, peppers, beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, romaine red lettuce, squash, and cucumbers.  I grow entirely too much, so my friends get the benefits of my labor.  Recently, I saw one colossal cucumber (photo attached). Then, a few hours later, I saw an IG post from ABCNEWS:  "Whole, fresh cucumbers sold in 14 states recalled due to possible salmonella contamination."  So let's talk about it!

A hand hold a cucumber.

Salmonella contamination is a serious issue that can occur at various points in the supply chain, from the farm to the grocery store. For instance, the cucumber fields could have been irrigated with contaminated water, or its soil could have been infected with Salmonella from animal manure used as fertilizer. Cross-contamination due to contaminated surfaces or poor hygiene of workers during handling, processing, storage, and transportation is also a possibility. The CDC and FDA are working to identify the source of the problem, but in the meantime, it's crucial to be aware of the risks.

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, and most people recover without treatment.  They will have a few days of symptoms of salmonellosis, including diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting.  Those who are young, elderly, or those with weak immune systems have the worst course. Either way, I am just a text or call away to help navigate and monitor.

How to Keep Your Family Safe (even if it comes from your garden)

  1. Check for Recalls

  2. Wash Thoroughly (Use a vegetable brush to scrub the surface if needed.)

  3. Peel the Skin (The skin can harbor bacteria.)

  4. Separate and Store Properly: (Store them in the refrigerator and consume them within a few days.)

Unfortunately, food recalls are common, but being proactive about food safety can significantly reduce your family's risk.

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