Unfortunately, we're currently in the midst of a bunch of recalls due to salmonella contamination. In case you missed it, these are the products you should be looking out for:
Honey Smacks Cereal
Kellogg's issued a recall for their popular breakfast cereal after fears of a major salmonella outbreak.
Ritz Cracker Products
Mondelez International released a list of products they had concerns of a salmonella outbreak for:
- Ritz Bits Cheese (in various packaging)
- Ritz Cheese Cracker Sandwiches
- Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches with Cheese
- Ritz Whole Wheat Cracker Sandwiches with White Cheddar Cheese
- Ritz Everything Cracker Sandwiches with Cream Cheese
- Mixed Cookie Cracker Variety
Pepperidge Farm had to release a recall notice as well, also for salmonella concerns:
- Flavor Blasted® Xtra Cheddar
- Flavor Blasted® Sour Cream & Onion
- Goldfish® Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar
- Goldfish® Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel
Unfortunately, many of these snacks are common in American households, which means a lot of people could have been exposed to salmonella without even realizing it.
Each year, over 1.2 million people deal with salmonella and it causes 450 deaths. Symptoms tend to appear within 12 to 72 hours, though most people never develop symptoms.
That being said, there are signs you should look out for.
1. Blood in your stool
Blood in your stool is never good, so it's always important to see your doctor if this occurs. That being said, Dr. William Schaffner says seeing blood in your stool is a rare symptom of salmonella. It's definitely something to keep an eye out for.
This is the most common symptom of salmonella people experience, and the vomiting can be so severe "you're almost more afraid that you're going to live," says Dr. Schaffner.
Constant vomiting can actually pose a serious risk because you are dehydrating yourself, and since you probably can't keep down fluids, there's no way to re-hydrate.
You may not be vomiting, but if you've been infected with salmonella you could find yourself extremely nauseous. The discomfort is extremely severe and debilitating according to Dr. Schaffner, and will be just as uncomfortable as constant vomiting.
You may have noticed a theme here: your abdominal area. Because the bacteria affects your gut, that's where you'll experience the most symptoms.
When your body is fighting salmonella, it will try to rid itself of the bacteria through the bowel. Your abdominal muscles were forcefully contract in an effort to push out the waste and this causes major cramping.
Dr. Schaffner says the cramps can get so intense, medical professionals suspect it's actually appendicitis, not salmonella.
All those muscle contractions lead to something, and that something is diarrhea. Much like vomiting, this can severely dehydrate you.
Salmonella is an infection, after all, so a fever is to be expected. Dr. Schaffner says that about 70% of people with salmonella poisoning develop of fever. Generally it doesn't reach about 102 degrees, but fevers have the potential to spike without warning, so it's always a good idea to keep an eye on it.
Just like how when there's smoke there's fire, when there's a fever there's chills. You most likely won't experience this symptom on its own, but it can definitely help you identify what's going on.
The only way to really deal with chills is to wrap yourself in blankets and try to sweat out the fever.
Fevers can also bring on headaches, which are never fun. Don't assume that just having a headache means you have salmonella, though. If you do find yourself with a headache out of nowhere, check to see if you have a fever. If you do, it may be cause for concern. If not, just ride it out.
Of course, any irregular symptoms or feelings should be explained to a doctor.