More than 228 million eggs have been recalled across the United States due to the presence of salmonella bacteria. The outbreak is linked to a farm in Iowa, and according to the Associated Press, the eggs are sold across the country under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps.
Salmonella is a common source of food poisoning, but how much do you know about it? Here’s a description of what it is, why it makes people sick, symptoms, and, of course, the riddle of why it shares a name with the fish “salmon.”
First off, there are two major strains of salmonella that affect humans: Salmonella Enteriditis and Salmonella Typhi. You’ll recognize “typhi” from typhoid, a very serious illness that has largely been eliminated in the United States. Some types of salmonella carry typhoid, but the current egg recall has nothing to do with this kind of salmonella. The risk posed by the recalled eggs relates to Salmonella Enteriditis, which is the source of a great many cases of food poisoning.
Enteritis simply means “inflammation of the intestine.” If enough bacteria survives your stomach’s gastric juices, the salmonella grows in the lumen (lining) of the intestines and can cause intense diarrhea as well as fever and cramping in your stomach. Infants and people with compromised immune systems can suffer far more serious symptoms. For anyone afflicted with salmonella poisoning, dehydration is a huge secondary factor. Symptoms typically occur as soon as several hours after ingesting contaminated food or as long as a day after.
The answer is simple: veterinary surgeon Daniel E. Salmon has the infamy of being the namesake of salmonella. Sheer, unfortunate coincidence creates the confusion of the fish and the food poisoning. The “sal-” in salmonella rhymes with “pal.”
Do you have any questions about food poisoning terms or medical language in general? Let us know, below.