Preventing Salmonellosis at Home
Salmonellosis is a disease shared by animals and humans, and several
outbreaks of salmonellosis in Washington cattle have lead to human illness.
People in direct contact with cattle are not the only ones who can become
sick. Indirect contact with cattle can occur when someone handles products like unpasteurized milk, or touches boots contaminated with manure. Boots and clothing can
brush carpets and furniture to contaminate them.
Young children, sick or elderly people, and immunocompromised individuals
are the most vulnerable to infection with Salmonella. Special care must be taken
to avoid contamination of households in which high-risk individuals reside.
The following are some guidelines to follow to prevent a salmonellosis
outbreak in the home setting.
Reduce the risk of
transmission to humans
People in direct contact with cattle: Wash hands with soap and
warm water for 20 seconds prior to preparing food or eating. This includes snacks. Avoid
putting things, such as ballpoint pens, in mouth.
To minimize risk of indirect transmission:
- Do not consume unpasteurized milk or products containing it, such as quesa fresca.
- During the course of a salmonellosis outbreak in a livestock herd, and until the herd
tests negative, children under 5 should not be allowed on the farm
an area outside the main living quarters of the home where those who
work on the farm can change clothes and shoes. This area should not be
carpeted and should be cleaned at least weekly with an appropriate
disinfectant. If the changing area contains a rug or doormat, it should
be of a form that can be put through the washing machine with an
to entering the living quarters manure contaminated clothes and shoes
should be removed, after which hands should be washed with soap and
water for 20 seconds.
household floors (vinyl, wood etc) should be cleaned and sanitized with
an appropriate disinfectant at least once weekly.
- Carpeted areas should be vacuumed at least once weekly.
Monitor for Salmonella
in the home
risk persons live in the home, the following environmental samples can be
tested by a laboratory:
- Vacuum cleaner bags (containing debris) can be tested to determine if carpets are
contaminated with Salmonella.
- Broom with disposable electrostatic cloth can be used to sample vinyl or wood floors.
In our Laboratory, we use LpH or Environ. These can cause skin irritation.
Bleach mixed according to container directions will work, but will cause wear on boots and
flooring materials and may be inactivated by organic material. Contact
Dr. Dale Hancock for more information.