Salmonella - Animals as Sources of Infection in People

  Photo courtesy of Janice Haney Carr/CDC

Outbreaks of human infection with different strains of Salmonella have resulted from contact with animals or animal-related products such as amphibians and reptiles, poultry (including chicks and ducklings), hedgehogs, guinea pigs, other rodents​, and pet foods.

 Groups that are especially at risk

of infection are the very young, elderly, pregnant and immunocompromised (either by a medical condition or a drug therapy).
Simple, common sense measures are very effective when it comes to preventing infection with Salmonella and other zoonotic diseases. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly (at least 20 seconds) with soap and water after any contact with animals and their bedding, food and water bowls or stool.
  • If you are immunocompromised, take stronger precautions to minimize your risk. This may include avoiding contact with animal species that pose more risk of infection, such as reptiles, amphibians, poultry and hedgehogs. Immunocompromised persons should also use caution when handling pet foods. 
  • Avoid feeding your pet raw or undercooked animal-source protein (including raw meat, organ meat or bones, raw eggs, or unpasteurized milk or cheese) to your pet, because these foods are potential sources of Salmonella and other pathogens. 
  • Keep all pet food and treats separate from human food, and do not use the same utensils or kitchen supplies for human and pet foods. 
  • Avoid preparing your pet’s meals in areas used to prepare food for yourself or your family. 
  • Clean pet food and pet water bowls regularly with hot, soapy water (or wash in the dishwasher).

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