6 Foods More Likely Than Chicken To Be A Source Of Salmonella


Many if not most people typically take safety measures in their kitchens to combat salmonella poisoning from chicken. They wipe up all raw juices on their countertops, wash off the cutting boards meticulously and cook the chicken thoroughly, ensuring that you can no longer see any pink in it. This will typically decrease the risk of salmonella, which is a bacterium that could result in vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, fever, and in many cases it could lead to more serious issues that could result in death. Infants, the elderly, and people that suffer from compromised immune systems are the ones that are most at risk of severe complications from salmonella poisoning. Although it is an intelligent thing to be on your guard with chicken, there are other foods that are more likely to cause sickness from salmonella. Beef, chicken, and pork account for just about thirty-three percent of salmonella poisoning in the entire United States. Here are other food sources of salmonella which might be surprising.

Leafy Greens

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, kale, and all the other healthy leafy greens are the largest transporters of salmonella. Close to thirty-five percent of all the illnesses that are foodborne are as a result of a bacterium that hangs about in the salad making greens or in the sandwich. The salmonella that is found on leafy greens is typically less harmful than the salmonella located in chickens; however, it is much more abundant, resulting in more severe intestinal problems rather than deaths. Leafy greens are contaminated with salmonella when other greens in the field are contaminated; they also get it if washed with water that has been contaminated as well or if they come into contact with contaminated surfaces, hands, or utensils. Leafy greens that have been bagged tend to pose a greater threat due to the fact that the moisture in the bag and the juices from the leaves is a catalyst for the spread of salmonella. Salmonella will not be removed by washing the leafy greens vegetables; however, this should not prevent you from still eating lettuce on your sandwich or salads. Contamination would be decreased if the product is handled correctly and safely from the beginning. Wash your hands thoroughly prior to handling different types of foods, and ensure that all utensils used in food preparation are washed properly to prevent cross-contamination.

Some Cheeses and Raw Milk

Milk that has not been pasteurized is a carrier for salmonella. The Food and Drug Administration or FDA states that any person that consumes foods created using raw milk is at greater risk, however, the elderly, teenagers, children, and pregnant women are particularly susceptible. Soft cheeses, for example, blue-veined, brie, and fresco are all carriers of salmonella, what is more, is that yogurt and ice cream are also considered carriers of the bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that persons should steer clear of eating soft cheeses that might be made from milk that has not been pasteurized, in spite of the source.


Melons and their textured peel is an excellent hiding place for salmonella. Melons that have been damaged an even greater risk, therefore it is recommended that you inspect the fruit prior to purchasing it and ensure you select one that is free from damage. Also, place the melons in the refrigerator in order to retard the growth of any bacteria that might be on them.


Food that is uncooked is the most susceptible food to salmonella and sprouts are quite often consumed raw or uncooked. Due to the fact that sprouts are cultivated in humid and warm conditions, the likelihood for bacteria to grow and develop is larger. Between 1996 and 2016 in the United States, there were forty-six different outbreaks of food-borne illnesses caused by sprouts which resulted in the deaths of three persons and another one hundred and eighty-seven hospitalized.


Salmonella can also be found in eggs that are clean and unbroken as stated by the FDA, even though eggs that are already cracked carry a higher probability of being contaminated. The Food and Drugs Administration has estimated that close to 79,000 cases of foodborne illnesses, resulting in thirty deaths every year are as a result of persons consuming salmonella contaminated eggs. Keep the eggs in the refrigerator until ready to consume, this helps minimize the potential of becoming sick from them. Also cook the eggs thoroughly, which means the yolks should be firm and not running.

Other Meats

Even though chicken holds most of the responsibility for salmonella poisoning, there are other meats that could be regarded as sources of salmonella. The bacteria could be present in pork and beef as well. Recently there was an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in the United States that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention associated with beef that was sold into the U.S. In order to prepare roasts, steaks, ham, and pork properly it is recommended that they be cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 62.8 degrees Celsius, then rested for at least a minimum of three minutes, while the preparation for hamburgers and ground beef should be at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 71.1 degrees Celsius.