Late last week, it was reported that a number of Chipotle stores in Minnesota had been linked to an outbreak of salmonella.
CNBC reported about this outbreak HERE
At the time of writing our article, 45 cases had been identified. When interviewed, patients reported eating at Chipotle between the 16th and 26th of August. The patients who reported eating at Chipotle became ill between August 20th and August 29th. Chipotle has cooperated thus far with Minnesota State Regulators.
We wanted to take a quick moment to explain the basics.
Diagnosing food poisoning can be difficult.
While there are a few ‘lawyer’ reasons for that, the biggest difficulty isn’t legal–it’s medical!
The symptoms of salmonella can look a lot like those of the common flu. Lots of things look like the common flu. Quite often, patients experience symptoms and don’t think anything of it.
Salmonella incubates over a course of up to 72 hours. The illness often lasts between four days and a week.
If you catch salmonella, you’ll need to make sure you get rest and drink as many fluids as possible. You may experience abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Many patients also experience fever and vomiting.
While these symptoms may not sound particularly serious, there’s something else we haven’t mentioned. In the immunocompromised, salmonella can be life threatening. That means that the risk is much greater for infants and the elderly. (Salmonella can also be particularly dangerous for those suffering from Diabetes or HIV.)
Salmonella can be found on food and in animals.
Eggs and poultry can carry salmonella. That’s true of meat, unpasteurized milk and juice too. Raw fruits and vegetables have also been known to carry salmonella.
Reptiles like lizards, snakes and turtles also carry salmonella.
It’s hard to prevent exposure in a situation like the Chipotle salmonella outbreak. That being said, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your salmonella risk at home.
Try and limit the number of “high-risk” salmonella foods you consume. Things like undercooked eggs or ground beef are more likely to contain salmonella. Cooking food to a safe internal temperature will reduce your risk of salmonella dramatically.
Check out this guide to Safe Cooking Temperatures HERE
Clean your hands before you cook. Use soap.
Make sure that you don’t mix your cooked and uncooked foods. Cooked foods should never return to a plate that has previously held raw food.
Before you serve or transport your meal, make sure your foods are promptly chilled.