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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated Salmonella species as one of the “Big Six'' highly infectious microorganisms that can cause severe foodborne illness. The Big Six are so named because of their infectiousness and virulence. There are other organisms that cause severe foodborne illness, such as C. botulinum, but are not highly infectious.

There are two kinds of Salmonella infections – Typhoid and nontyphoidal. Although Salmonella Typhi is not common in industrialized countries, food workers should be aware of this dangerous foodborne pathogen.

To learn more about Salmonella Typhi and the typhoid fever it causes, as well as how to minimize the risk of an outbreak in your business, check out our Salmonella Typhi knowledge sheet.

How is Salmonella Typhi transmitted?

Salmonella Typhi is transmitted from person to person if food or water that has been contaminated with fecal matter is consumed. An infected food handler that does not wash his or her hands after using the bathroom and then prepares food may contaminate that food. Transmission may also occur via an infected person’s blood.

Salmonella Typhi can also be transmitted through foods that are exposed to raw sewage or irrigation water that is contaminated and used in produce growing areas. While shellfish are not hosts for this bacteria, they can be a vehicle for transmission if harvested in waters contaminated with untreated sewage.

Salmonella Typhi prevention tips

Protect your employees and customers by following the procedures below to prevent an outbreak of Salmonella Typhi in your business.

  1. Require employees to wash their hands thoroughly, especially after using the restroom. Encourage them to scrub beneath fingernails, between fingers, and around wrists.
  2. Encourage the use of gloves, tongs, or deli paper to prevent bare-hand contact with ready-to eat-foods.
  3. Have an employee wellness policy, including screening new/conditional employees, to exclude any employees with symptoms or diagnosis of typhoid fever.
  4. Have supplier approval programs that verify suppliers are doing the following:
    • Monitoring produce growers for Good Agricultural Practices
    • Executing Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and intervention programs to prevent food contamination from untreated sewage
    • Properly treating water used in processing
    • Implementing trace-back capabilities
    • Remaining in compliance with all federal and local regulations
    • Follow-up on any customer foodborne illness claims without delay. Report multiple claims to your health department so outbreaks can be investigated as quickly as possible.

If there is a Salmonella Typhi outbreak at your facility, Steritech offers Crisis Management assistance. We also provide a wide selection of health and safety services that can minimize the risk of transmission of foodborne illnesses. Contact us today to learn more.


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