Enoch Choi, MD  
Male, 45
Palo Alto, CA

Specialties: Family Medicine

Interests: sinusitis, Migraine, Low back pain
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Urgent Care
Palo Alto, CA
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Salmonella typhimurium outbreak sickens 388

Jan 07, 2009 - 8 comments








I'll be chatting about this on KGO810AM radio in the SF Bay area at 4:13pm today ( http://bayradio.com/kgo_archives/61700.mp3 will have the recording sometime after they upload it at 5pm (it's the archive of 4pm-5pm):


Since September 2008, 388 across 42 states have become sick with Salmonella typhimurium and 18% (around 70 folks) have had to go to the hospital.   The CDC has yet to track down the cause, and has pulled staff from other work to devote to looking for it.  You may remember the peppers from Mexico that caused the last outbreak.

Salmonella usually causes an illness with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and cramping, within 8 to 72 hours of eating the contaminated food.  In most cases it goes away by itself, but if you're really sick for more than 2 days with more than 6 stools a day with high fever you may need to see your doctor, especially if the stools are bloody, you're dehydrated, or have abdominal pain.

The fortunate thing for you is that by good habits and wise eating you can avoid the risk of catching this illness.  Carefully wash hands and cooking utensils & use alcohol-based hand rubs frequently when preparing raw eggs, poultry or other meats.  Cook meats and eggs thoroughly.  Do not eat raw milk products (such as raw milk or raw cheeses).  Wash raw fruits and vegetables before consuming.  Keep raw foods in a separate part of your refrigerator.  Cook raw food from animal sources to a safe internal temperature: ground beef 160ºF (71ºC); chicken 170ºF (77ºC); turkey 180ºF (82ºC); pork 160ºF (71ºC). Don't leave cooked foods at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if the room temperature is above 90ºF/32ºC).

Probiotics can be helpful if taken in the first 2 days of being sick.  Antibiotics are usually not needed and can make things worse.

Antidiarrheal medications
Medications to reduce diarrhea can help if there is no fever (temperature greater than 100.3ºF or 38ºC) and the stools are not bloody. These medications do not cure diarrhea, but decrease your frequency of bowel movements.

Loperamide (Imodium®) is available over the counter; the dose is two tablets (4 mg) initially, then 1 tablet (2 mg) after each unformed stool. No more than 16 mg is recommended per day.

Diphenoxylate (Lomotil®) requires a prescription; its benefit is similar to loperamide, although it can cause constipation since it's so strong.

Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®, Kaopectate®) is not as effective as loperamide. Bismuth subsalicylate can help patients with fever and bloody diarrhea. However, women who are pregnant should not take bismuth subsalicylate. The dose of bismuth subsalicylate is 30 mL or two tablets every 30 minutes for up to eight doses.

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Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Jan 08, 2009

Oh great... another outbreak !  = |

Here are some tips that can help reduce or eliminate bacteria and/or viruses on your fruits & vegetables:


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by wguimb, Jan 10, 2009
My liver and HepC meds can cause side effects similar to those of Salmonella poisoning.  So I never really know when I get it.  However, I practice the habits you mentioned doctor.  Thanks for the info.

The most important tip for immune compromised people: Wash your hands in warm water with anti-bacterial soap and alcohol-based hand cleaners all day and every day!  I spent most of 2008 in the hospital for bacterial and parasite infections. Hospitals are NOT fun and you can catch staff infections in those places.

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by Flycaster305, Jan 11, 2009
I got Salmonella in April of 2008, and became mighty ill.  I was stunned at the number of hours health professionals spent with me trying to determine the cause.  Since contacting it, I'm much more careful about washing hands, vegetables, eggs, you name it, I don't want it again.  It was never determined what caused it, but I think I know... chicken.  I used to be careless about handling it, not any more.  Because of high cholesterol and subsequent heart attacks and stents I eat very little red meat, lots of chicken and fish and when I get a good buy I freeze up portions, and that's what I think happened, I didn't clean up very well.

Today I use alcohol based hand washes constantly, at the gym, at home, everywhere.  I also use a diluted bleach spray on cooking/food prep surfaces.  A week in the hospital made me very careful not to get it again.

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Jan 12, 2009
Hi Flycaster305,

I hope you will try one of these tricks to wash your vegetables and fruits. I do the first one. What is great is both of these vegetable sprays are very inexpensive and easy to make.

Trick # 1 --- In a spray bottle, mix 50% water with 50% white, distilled vinegar. Add 1 Tablespoon of baking soda (watch the explosion... LOL!) and you can also add 15 drops of grapeseed oil to the mix. Spray on your fruits and/or vegetables and then rinse off.


Trick # 2 --- First, spray your vegetables and/or fruit with white, distilled vinegar. Next, spray 3% of hydrogen peroxide on your veggies.  (DO NOT MIX THEM.... IT IS NOT SAFE) Next, rinse off under running water. University tests show that this technique killed more potentially lethal bacteria, including Salmonella, Shigella, and even E. coli, than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.

It looks like PEANUT BUTTER could be the culprit with this latest salmonella outbreak:


Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Jan 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Product Recall (Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak):

"Note: This list includes food products subject to recall in the United States since January 2009 related to peanut butter and peanut paste recalled by Peanut Corporation of America. This list will be updated as new information is received. This information is current as of the date indicated. Once included, all food recalls will remain listed. If we learn that any information is not accurate, we will revise the list as soon as possible."



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by MJIthewriter, Jan 21, 2009
I heard about this in the news and it being tied to peanut butter.... I'm going to check PG's link.

Avatar universal
by PlateletGal, Feb 03, 2009

Why does it seem like there is a scandal behind every big news story ?

Firm tied to salmonella ran unlicensed Texas plant


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by littlewolfbain, Jun 01, 2011
I came down with Salmonella newport strain C2 0149, in 11/2010, I was in the hospital for 3days, I was told that if I had waited one more day to seek help, I wouldn't be here now to talk about it.I wash my food ,my hands, hand washing is a must , washing all counters is a must. But the funny things no one but me came down with it, that live in my home any way. I would like to know more about this strain of salmonella.So if anyone has any info on this, I would love to hear about. thank you. Linda

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