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Salmonella is one of the more dangerous foodborne pathogens. Although food poisoning cases on the whole have been dropping in recent years, salmonella rates have been on the rise, climbing around 10% over the past decade and a half. (Veregano, 6-8-2011)

What is salmonella?
Salmonella is a family of rod-shaped bacteria that commonly contaminate food, and is usually found in meat or dairy products.

Where salmonella lurks
According to a recent study, the foods most responsible for salmonella poisoning were:

  • Poultry: 29%
  • Other (grains, fish, etc.): 20%
  • Eggs: 18%
  • Fruits or vegetables: 13%
  • Pork: 12%
  • Beef: 8% (Vergano, 2011 )

How salmonella spreads
Salmonella can be lurking in contaminated products themselves, and it can also be spread by human hands or food that comes into contact with surfaces containing the bacteria. Salmonella multiples quickly, and can double its population roughly every 4 minutes.

How long does salmonella live on a counter?
Salmonella can live on kitchen counters, sinks, and other hard surfaces for up to 4 days. Yet other research by food science professor Paul Dawson suggests that salmonella and other bacteria can survive up to four weeks on dry surfaces and transfer to food immediately upon contact. Plain old soap and water kills it best, and disinfecting your countertops with bleachwater wouldn’t hurt, either.

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