Salmonella are a group of bacteria that can make people and animals sick from a foodborne illness called salmonellosis. Salmonella can contaminate food such as meat, eggs, milk, seafood, vegetables, fruits, chocolate, ice cream, and peanut butter. It also can contaminate pet food and treats such as dog biscuits, pig ears, rawhide, and beef hooves.
Salmonella infections, which affect the intestinal tract, are common and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. Children younger than 5 years old, adults older than 65 years old, and people with weakened immune systems, including pregnant women, are more likely to develop serious illness.
The growing hobby of keeping live poultry such as chicks, chickens, and ducks may be contributing to the increase of Salmonella outbreaks linked to these birds. Although eliminating all risk from live poultry is not possible, the Centers for Disease Control has provided information for those who handle live poultry. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Health has issued information for public health professionals to aid in case investigation and education.