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Health Information Center


  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:



(Infection; Salmonella Enterica; Food Poisoning)


Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning.


Salmonellosis is caused by certain bacteria. It grows in many places such as water, raw meat, seafood, and eggs. Infection comes from eating or drinking products with the bacteria. It can also come from contact with infected animals.

Once in the body, the bacteria enter the bowels where it can grow and cause problems.

Stomach and Intestines.

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Risk Factors

Things that may raise of salmonellosis the risk are:

  • Eating raw or poorly cooked meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or seafood
  • Eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy products
  • Drinking unclean water
  • Working with farm animals, birds, or reptiles
  • Having low levels of stomach acid
  • Taking stomach acid reducers
  • Having a weakened immune system from illness or medicines


Salmonellosis may cause:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Belly cramps
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches


The doctor will ask about symptoms and health history. You will also be asked about your food history or whether you work with animals. A physical exam will be done. Blood and stool (poop) tests will be done to look for signs of infection.


The infection usually goes away on its own in 2 to 5 days. Other care may involve:

  • Fluids and electrolytes—given by IV or taken by mouth
  • Medicines—to lower fever and ease pain
  • Antibiotics—to treat people who have problems such as a blood infection


To lower the risk of food poisoning:

  • Wash hands often.
  • Wash cutting boards and kitchen tools with hot soapy water before and after handling raw foods.
  • Use a different cutting board for raw meats.
  • Do not eat or drink unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Cook foods well. Use a thermometer to check them.
  • Put foods in the refrigerator as soon as possible.




  • Knodler LA, Elfenbein JR. Salmonella enterica. Trends Microbiol. 2019;27(11):964-965.
  • Nontyphoidal Salmonella infections. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/gram-negative-bacilli/nontyphoidal-salmonella-infections.
  • Nontyphoidal salmonellosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/nontyphoidal-salmonellosis.
  • Salmonella. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella.


  • David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.