Recall Kinder chocolates: what is salmonellosis, its symptoms and treatment?

What is salmonella?

Salmonella belongs to the Enterobacteriaceae bacterial family. “They can be present in the digestive tract of mammals (pigs, cattle) and birds (poultry) without showing symptoms. Some strains can also come from cold-blooded animals (reptiles, turtles) or even aquatic animals (shellfish, fish),” says the National Food Safety, Environment and Occupational Health Agency (Handles). “These are ubiquitous and resistant bacteria that can survive for weeks in a dry environment and several months in water,” notes the World Health Organization. The WHO adds that various existing strains can be pathogenic to humans and cause salmonellosis, especially those adapted to only one or a few animal species.

How can they infect a person?

In 95% of cases, infection occurs through contaminated products, especially raw ones. The foods most at risk are eggs, dairy and meat, especially if they have not been sufficiently cooked or cooked. Infection can also occur through contact with infected animals or people, whether they have symptoms or not.

What are the symptoms of salmonellosis?

When you are infected with salmonella, the most common symptom is gastroenteritis, which causes abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. The incubation period is one to two days, “depending on the dose of bacteria ingested, the health of the host, and the characteristics of the Salmonella strain,” says the Pasteur Institute.

What is the danger?

The Pasteur Institute noted that “in 2018, 1,630 collective food poisonings were reported in France, affecting 14,742 people, including 777 requiring hospitalization and two deaths.” Salmonella was responsible for half of these poisonings.

What is the treatment?

Treatment is not required for adults in normal physical condition. It takes three to five days for gastroenteritis to disappear thanks to immune defenses. For frail, older or immunocompromised people, and infants, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics because salmonellosis can be much more serious and fatal in these patients.

People who have consumed the products mentioned and who have symptoms are encouraged to consult their doctor without delay, informing him of this consumption.

What should you do if you have consumed an incriminated product and have symptoms?

As part of the recall of Kinder products, the French Public Health Authority indicates that “People who have consumed the mentioned products and who are showing symptoms are requested to consult their doctor without delay, informing him of this consumption.” The health agency adds that “To limit person-to-person transmission (especially in households with young children), it is recommended that hands be thoroughly washed with soap and water after going to the toilet, after changing a child’s clothes, and before preparing food.” “.

How to protect yourself from it every day?

ANSES gives some advice, such as “wash your hands thoroughly after contact with a live animal, after processing raw foods and thoroughly clean the work surface used to prepare these raw foods. The agency also encourages cook food thoroughly and in particular pork and poultry, as well as minced meat” and “keep eggs at a stable temperature and avoid cold/hot”. It is also not recommended for the elderly, sick, people with weakened immune systems, young children and pregnant women to consume raw or undercooked eggs, meat and raw milk.

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