Salmonella is a major water- and food-borne pathogenic bacteria that can cause serious gastroenteritis. It is the second most dominant bacterial cause of food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide. Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, which are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, are important causes of fever, particularly in countries like India. Enteric fevers are caused by Salmonella typhi and S. paratyphi A and B. Typhoid is characterized by fever, headache, body ache, muscle cramps, diarrhea, and if untreated, can lead to coma, eventually resulting in death within three weeks.
The course of paratyphoid fever tends to be shorter and milder than typhoid. Improved sanitation and living conditions, as well as vaccination can reduce the incidence of enteric fevers, and the only treatment is antibiotic therapy. Two Salmonella serotypes other than S. typhi and S. paratyphi are most important worldwide: S. enteritidis and S. typhimurium. The incubation period of Salmonella gastroenteritis is 12-72 hours and the predominant feature is diarrhea. Vomiting may be present at the outset and blood is frequently present in the stool. Antibiotics are not indicated for uncomplicated Salmonella gastroenteritis. However, evidence of bacteremia (spread of bacteria to blood) is a clear indication for antibiotic therapy.
Transmission is predominantly by contaminated water or raw animal food products, particularly poultry, eggs, egg products, meat, meat products, unpasteurized milk, or other unpasteurized dairy products. Thorough cooking and processing effectively kills Salmonella bacteria. Therefore, inculcation of scrupulous procedures for food handling and hygienic food preparation practices are of paramount importance in limiting the spread of Salmonella bacteria.
The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 clearly stipulates that all packaged food, in particular infant food, must be free from Salmonella bacteria. Unsafe food-handling and packaging, even in highly developed countries like the USA have been reported. For example, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in its Advisory issued in 2009, reported Salmonella contamination of peanut butter in a packaging plant in Blakely, Georgia, USA in January 2007 that caused 714 people to fall ill along with 9 deaths, leading to the recall of the dangerous packaged food product!
The foregoing discussion highlights the importance for the lab testing of food-borne pathogens like Salmonella. Our laboratory has over a decade of experience in testing for food-borne pathogens like Salmonella. We are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for testing dangerous food-borne pathogens like Salmonella. We use methods that have been validated in compliance to meet national and international requirements for testing food-borne pathogens.
Our well-equipped laboratory has been identified as one of the top laboratories and is certified by NABL, FSSAI, BIS, CDSCO, ISM&H, APEDA, EIC/EIA, and AGMARK.
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