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Salmonela y los alimentos

What You Need to Know

  • Salmonella are bacteria that can make you sick.
  • Salmonella can be found in a variety of foods, including chicken, beef, pork, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and even processed foods.
  • Some people are more likely to get an infection and serious illness.
  • You can take steps to prevent infection, such as following the clean, separate, cook, and chill guidelines.

Watch AJ’s story to find out what happened when he got sick with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella from eating chicken.

Food that is contaminated with Salmonella or other harmful germs usually looks, tastes, and smells normal. That’s why it’s important to know how to prevent infection.

Salmonella cause far more illnesses than you might suspect. For every case of Salmonella illness confirmed by laboratory tests, almost 30 other cases are not reported. That’s because most people with symptoms of foodborne illness do not go to the doctor or submit a sample to a laboratory, so we never learn what germ made them sick. CDC estimates that Salmonella cause more than 1 million foodborne illnesses in the United States every year.

Causes of Salmonella Infection

You can get a Salmonella infection from a variety of foods, including chicken, turkey, beef, pork, eggs, fruits, sprouts, other vegetables, and even processed foods, such as nut butters, frozen pot pies, and stuffed chicken entrees. Some recent Salmonella outbreaks that sickened people in many states were linked to flour, peanut butter, salami sticks, onions, prepackaged salads, peaches, and ground turkey.

Food isn’t the only way Salmonella spread to people. The bacteria also spread through contaminated water, the environment, other people, and animals. Even pets and animals at petting zoos, farms, fairs, and schools and daycares can carry Salmonella and other harmful germs. Get tips to help you stay safe around feathery, furry, and scaly friends.

People at Higher Risk for Salmonella Infection

Certain people are more likely to get a serious Salmonella infection. These people include children who are younger than 5, adults who are 65 and older, and people whose immune systems are weakened from certain medical conditions (such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer) or their treatments.

Salmonella Symptoms

Salmonella illness can be seriousSymptoms usually start 6 hours to 6 days after infection. They include diarrhea that can be bloody, fever, and stomach cramps. Most people recover within 4 to 7 days without antibiotic treatment. But some people with severe diarrhea may need to be hospitalized or take antibiotics.

Call the doctor if you have:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrea por más de 3 días que no mejora
  • Sangre en las heces
  • Vómitos prolongados que no le permiten retener líquidos
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Poca orina
    • Boca y garganta secas
    • Mareos al pararse

Spotlight on Chicken

CDC estimates that Salmonella causes more foodborne illnesses than any other bacteria. Chicken is a major source of these illnesses. In fact, about 1 in every 25 packages of chicken  at the grocery store are contaminated with Salmonella.

You can get sick from contaminated chicken if it's not cooked thoroughly. You can also get sick if its juices leak in the refrigerator or get on kitchen surfaces and then get on something you eat raw, such as salad.

It is possible to reduce Salmonella contamination of chicken and the resulting illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths. CDC is working with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, state health officials, consumer groups, and industry to help prevent illnesses from chicken by better controlling germs at each step of the food production chain, from the farm to the fork.

Learn about measures that have been shown to reduce Salmonella contamination of chicken.

Four Steps to Help Prevent Salmonella Infection

Follow the Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill guidelines when you prepare food at home. These steps can help keep you and your family safe from Salmonella infection and other kinds of food poisoning.


  • Wash hands with soap and clean, running water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, especially after touching raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry (like chicken and turkey), seafood, or their juices.
  • Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot, soapy water, especially after they’ve touched raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.
  • Don’t wash raw poultry, meat, or seafood before cooking. Washing can spread germs to other foods, utensils, and surfaces.


  • Separe la carne de res y de ave, los mariscos y los huevos de otros alimentos en el carrito de compras y en el refrigerador. Keep eggs in the original carton and store them in the main part of the refrigerator, not in the door.
  • Separe la carne de res y de ave y los mariscos de las comidas preparadas, como ensaladas y fiambres.
  • Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, or their juices.


  • Use un termómetro para saber que los alimentos se cocinan a una temperatura interna segura.
    • 145°F for beef, pork, ham, veal, and lamb (then let the meat rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating)
    • 145°F for fish with fins (or cook until flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork)
    • 160 °F para carne de res, cerdo, ternera y cordero molido
    • 160°F for egg dishes that do not contain meat or poultry
    • 165°F for egg dishes that contain meat or poultry
    • 165 °F para carne de ave (pollo, pavo, pato), incluido el pollo y el pavo molido
    • 165°F for leftovers and casseroles
  • Microwave food  thoroughly. Follow recommended cooking and standing times.
  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm.


  • Mantenga su refrigerador a más de 40 °F.
  • Never leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the food is exposed to temperatures above 90°F (like a hot car or picnic). Perishable food includes meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, cut fruit, some vegetables, cooked rice, and leftovers.