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Salmonella is a gram-negative, rod shaped bacilli that can cause diarrheal illness in humans. The bacilli are microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or animals.

What is salmonellosis? It’s an infection caused by the bacteria Salmonella, and it causes an estimated 1.4 million cases of food borne illness and more than 500 deaths annually in the United States. In 2004, the Food Diseases Active Surveillance identified Salmonella as the most common bacterial infection reported.

What foods are most likely to make you sick? Basically any raw food of animal origin, such as meat, poultry, milk and dairy products, eggs, seafood and some fruits and vegetables could carry the Salmonella bacteria.

Are there long-term consequences? Recovery is usually fairly fast for those just suffering from diarrhea, but it could be several months before their bowel habits are entirely back to normal. A small number of people who are infected with the bacteria may develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination.

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