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Salmonella-infected meat on sale in five US states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has notified that the raw ground beef products received between Sept. 19 and Nov. 5 in five states - California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico – could be affected with a strain of Salmonella Newport.

Safeway advised customers to to look for and discard fresh ground beef products with the date.

Salmonella is a genus of rod-shaped Gram-negative enterobacteria that causes typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and foodborne illness. Salmonella species are motile and produce hydrogen sulfide.

Disease-causing Salmonella species have recently been re-classified into a single species, Salmonella enterica, which has numerous serovars. Salmonella Typhi causes typhoid fever. Other salmonellae are frequent causes of foodborne illness, especially from poultry and raw eggs and more generally from food that has been cooked or frozen and not eaten straight away.

While these infections would normally only require a treatment of antibiotics, if not resolved naturally, the long-term usage of antibiotics in both the poultry and beef industries may have created a strain of salmonella which is potentially resistant to antibiotics.

Salmonellosis can also be caught by handling reptiles, such as iguanas or turtles. A CDC study also noted cases of salmonellosis in 2003 and 2004 associated with handling commercially distributed pet rodents.

The prevention of Salmonella as a food illness involves effective sanitizing of food contact surfaces. Alcohol has proven to be an effective topical sanitizer against Salmonella.

Quaternary ammonium can be used in conjunction with alcohol as a food-contact safe sanitizer with increased duration of the sanitizing action. Nonflammable Alcohol Vapor in carbon dioxide NAV-CO2 systems or sodium hypochlorite (bleach) are frequently used to sanitize surfaces to prevent Salmonella. Food containing raw eggs should be thoroughly cooked or frozen before eating.

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