About three lots of MDH sambar masala were recalled from retail stores in California this week after tests by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed positive for salmonella.

  • This is not the first time that the American regulator has flagged problems of salmonella contamination in MDH products. The USFDA had detained imports of its spice products in over 20 instances between 2016 and 2018 for this reason.
STATIC Structure of Salmonella About Salmonella
  • Salmonella is a rod-shaped, gram-negative bacterium commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals.
  • It can also be found in raw meats, poultry, eggs and in unpasteurized milk.
  • Salmonella food poisoning (Salmonellosis) is an illness that can occur if live Salmonella bacteria enter the body.
  • The bacteria can attach itself to the cells lining the intestines where they produce toxins and attack the intestinal cells.
  • Every year, about 2 million people are infected with Salmonella, with 23,000 individuals hospitalized due to the infection and 450 dying from it.
Causes of the Infection
  • Animals can become infected by direct contact with other animals, by consuming contaminated feed or water, or through grass, wild birds and rats.
  • Humans acquire the bacteria from contaminated foods such as beef products, poultry, eggs, and egg products.
  • In the kitchen, Salmonella may be transferred from raw to cooked food by hands, contact with kitchen surfaces and equipment.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection?
  • The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, and fever.
  • The incubation period is from 12-36 hours.
Mode of Transmission Salmonella infection
  • Humans can be carriers (have and transmit the disease without showing symptoms) and shed the organism in their feces for up to one year.
  • Persons having Salmonella food poisoning can pass it on to others through inadequate hand washing after toilet use.
Diagnosis and treatment
  • Salmonellosis can be diagnosed through a stool sample but for most people, the symptoms dissipate by the time the test results return from the lab.
  • A blood sample may be taken to determine if the Salmonella has infected the bloodstream.
  • The primary treatments for a salmonella infection include keeping hydrated, getting rest and replacing electrolytes (by drinking things like Gatorade or other sports drinks, Pedialyte or other electrolyte solutions, or even coconut water).
  • If someone gets the Salmonella infection, it is important that all of the person's dirty clothes, bedding, and towels get washed in a washing machine using the hottest water setting.
  • In addition, all surfaces that the infected person may have touched should be thoroughly disinfected.
  • Antibiotics are generally not used to treat Salmonella, unless the infection may have spread to the bloodstream.
  • There is also evidence that taking antibiotics to treat Salmonella may prolong the infection because Salmonella is an intracellular bacterial pathogen, meaning these bacteria enter and survive inside our cells whereas most antibiotics work on extracellular bacteria and cannot get into our cells to kill the Salmonella
  • If Salmonella gets into the bloodstream (typically through the immune cells that line the intestinal system), additional complications can occur in tissue in and around the brain, spinal cord, heart and blood vessels.
  • The bacteria can even enter into bones and bone marrow.
  • Reactive arthritis, another complication that can result from Salmonella entering the bloodstream, causes joint pain, eye irritation, and painful urination.
Prevention Following precautions can be taken to avoid infection:
  • Avoid consuming raw or undercooked poultry, eggs or meat, unpasteurized milk, dairy products or juice.
  • Keeping food refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) before and after cooking and defrosting it timely in the refrigerator or microwave.
  • Cook meat and eggs to a safe internal temperature and check with a food thermometer.
  • Washing hands with soap and hot water before handling food and after having contact with animals (especially reptiles) and their food or living environments.
  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly before and after preparing food on them.
  • Separate cooked and raw food, including using separate utensils, dishes, and surfaces for preparing cooked and raw food.
  • Use of hot and soapy water or dishwasher for washing used dishes. Read More Articles: Hepatitis B: About and concerns How Kerala Contained Nipah Virus Outbreak