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Salmonella: Chill Out

March 02, 1995|BRUCE HENSTELL

Last year a major outbreak of salmonella chilled lovers of dishes such as Caesar salad all across the country, but according to the USDA and the December, 1994, issue of the Berkeley Wellness Newsletter, the risk of the stomach-upsetting salmonella from eating raw or partially cooked eggs is overrated. USDA scientists point out that only about one egg in 10,000 is contaminated. On top of that, most of the contaminated eggs contain only a few salmonella organisms, and it takes millions to give you food poisoning. As a result, it's estimated that your chance of getting salmonella from a given egg is about one in a quarter million. The USDA points out that salmonella organisms are easily killed by proper refrigeration.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday March 9, 1995 Home Edition Food Part H Page 8 Food Desk 3 inches; 95 words Type of Material: Correction
Salmonella-- Newsbite item in last week's Food Section incorrectly stated that "Salmonella organisms are easily killed by proper refrigeration." Salmonella can actually survive and multiply at refrigeration temperatures. However, Salmonella that may be present in food is destroyed when thoroughly heated or cooked to at least to 140 degrees for several minutes. The same News Bite also stated, "it takes millions (of Salmonella organisms) to give you food poisoning." High-risk groups--such as infants, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems--can get Salmonellosis infections from as few as a dozen of the potentially harmful bacteria.

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