Salmonella Illness In Turkey And Other Food-Borne Agents To Watch Out For
Meat products are among the most common carriers of causative agents for disease. Pork, for example, has been known to harbor a number of parasites including Trichenella....
Meat products are among the most common carriers of causative agents for disease. Pork, for example, has been known to harbor a number of parasites including Trichenella. Beef, on the other hand, is the major culprit for the Mad Cow epidemic. And poultry, well, aside from the dreaded Bird Flu, they also are infected with a variety of bacteria that not only cause gastrointestinal problems but also death in advanced cases. Just last year, there were 76 cases of death as a result of Salmonella illness in turkey.
Now, don’t get this wrong. Meat is not the enemy. Improper preparation, handling and cooking, however, are the ones you should keep an eye out for. After all, they are what exacerbate their innate disease-carrying characteristics of meat. It would be foolish to wait for acquiring Shigella illness in turkey before you actually start to consider your products from trusted retailers, washing it thoroughly and cooking it well. The holidays are meant for celebration, not a week long’s stay in your bed or the hospital.
To give you a better insight as to what other diseases turkey meat in particular can infect you with, here is a list you could refer to.
Campylobacter jejuni is a slow reacting bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of poultry meat products. Symptoms usually manifest after two to three days and they can be anything from fever, malaise, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Staphylococcus aureus is not unique to turkey as it can be found in a variety of foods. But it is something to be cautious about since it is persistent and can reproduce in dire conditions. Staphylococcus produces heat-resistant toxin that provokes symptoms like stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and fever to surface.
Escherichia coli is another bacteria that can be found in meat products and produces the same debilitating symptoms as Salmonella illness in turkey. But for the most part, physical contamination can lead to the development of several infectious conditions such as gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. In worse cases, it may escalate to meningitis and septicemia.
And then there is Clostridium perfringens, an anaerobic bacterium found in turkey meat, among others, and can grow spores that are resistant to high temperatures. They usually infect food products when they are left in the open for several hours after they’ve been thawed. Now, unlike Shigella illness in turkey which only causes blood in the stool at most, this particular agent can precipitate a scarier symptom which could escalate to systemic infection and cause death in a matter of hours. Clostridium is the bacterial agent for gas gangrene – the necrosis and putrefaction of tissues and production of gas.
Generally, experts advise consumers to always wash their hands before and after handling food. They are also asked to prevent cross contamination by using different cutting boards and utensils for different types of ingredients. It is also encouraged for people to prepare food immediately after it has been taken out of storage and to reheat stored ones completely until they are simmering. This, along with the previously mentioned ideas – buying from trusted retailers and cooking food meticulously – should prevent any chances of you having to suffer from ingesting contaminated rations.
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