Friday, December 7, 2012

Martha Stewart, celebrity chef and author, contracts Salmonella

Martha Stewart contracted Salmonella over Thanksgiving from mishandling food in the form of raw turkey.  While we hate to see anyone become ill, having a celebrity chef come down with Salmonella can have a positive outcome.  Too often we see these celebrity chefs demonstrating poor practices, whether it is inadequate hand washing, cooking to the incorrect temperatures, or canning foods using the oven technique.  But my hope is that Martha will use this experience as motivator to endorse good safety practices.

Of course, in one of the news stories she has an idiot quote about a silver lining… “I lost some weight,”.  I can see it now, a bunch of kitchen debutantes licking raw chicken as a way to lose weight.  So much for my wishful thinking.

Salmonella: Martha Stewart Sickened Last Month After 'Handling So Many Turkeys'

Posted: 12/06/2012 11:06 am EST

Martha Stewart was confined to her bed for several days last month because of salmonella infection, the New York Post's Page Six reported.

“I never get sick, but I came down with salmonella. I think I caught it because I was handling so many turkeys around Thanksgiving," Stewart told Page Six. "I was on the 'Today' show, I did a number of other [Thanksgiving] appearances. It really hit me hard and I was in bed for days. It was terrible."

Salmonella is the most common source of food poisoning, and causes the infection salmonellosis, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Salmonella is usually present in the guts of humans and animals, and can therefore get in food -- commonly raw poultry or meat -- via animal feces. If the food is not cooked to a hot enough temperature, the bacteria are not killed off and a person can become sick from the bacteria.

Salmonella infection can lead to a host of nasty symptoms, including diarrhea and vomiting, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, fever, chills and muscle pains, according to the Mayo Clinic. Complications -- such as dehydration, bacterial infection of the bloodstream and reactive arthritis -- can also occur for people with weakened immune systems, such as kids, older adults, pregnant women or organ transplant recipients.

WebMD reported that there are about 40,000 reported cases of salmonellosis each year in the U.S., though not everyone who gets it reports it (so the number may be as much as 30 times higher).

Salmonella doesn't usually need to be treated, as it goes away on its own after a few days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, if a person has been severely affected and is dehydrated because of the infection, intravenous fluids may be necessary for rehydration. Antibiotics might also be necessary if infection spreads elsewhere in the body.

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