Iowa has seen an unusual amount of Salmonella-related illnesses.
In 19 Iowa counties, 26 reports of illness have been received by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and local public health agencies. In a statement by the IDPH, they said the strain linked to the illness is a fairly uncommon strain of Salmonella.
“Salmonella is commonly the result of improper handling or preparation of food,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk.
Dr. Quinlisk said this particular strain generally comes from improper cooking of poultry or eggs.
According to the IDPH, symptoms of Salmonella infection are similar to those of Cyclospora – diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea, but the IDPH said the cases of Salmonella infection aren’t related to the recent Cyclospora outbreak.
A spokesperson from the IDPH said it is especially important to properly care for food in the summer months. Some recommendations from the department:
- Grill chicken to an internal temperature of 165-degrees F, measured with a food thermometer. The color of cooked poultry is not always a sure sign of its safety.
- Leftovers should be reheated to 165-degrees F.
- When making salads containing eggs, make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked and the yolks are firm.
- Do not use raw eggs to make homemade ice cream. You can make homemade ice cream safely by using pasteurized egg products, or by tempering and cooking the eggs in a hot custard ice cream base.
- Keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Illness-causing bacteria can grow in many foods within two hours; during the summer heat the time is cut down to within one hour.
- Wash your hands frequently to cut down on illnesses, including food borne illness.