Thanks to all the regulations restaurants have to follow diners often have a sense of security that what they are eating is free of contaminants that can make us violently ill or cause death. Unfortunately, that isn’t actually always the case as one unfortunate woman learned the hard way that speed of preparation outweighed safety practices to ensure a good product and now a warning is out that Americans need to be made aware of immediately.
One diner at a popular restaurant chain learned the hard way that everyone should always be vigilant and looking out for what could be in their meal, and now suspects they’re sick from salmonella poisoning.
From Fox 8:
Shawna Cepeda was dining with her family and was about four bites into a salad when she noticed the food tasted a little bitter and started to stir it around, according to her June 13 review on Yelp.
“I see something kind of rolled up. I was like, ‘this doesn’t look right,’ so I passed it to my husband,” Cepeda told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “I asked, ‘Is that a piece of lettuce?’ Then he looked and my daughter looked at it and he was like, ‘it’s a frickin’ frog.’”
The restaurant comped the meal and BJ’s Corporate office offered a $50 gift card, a modest token given what could have happened from consuming the frog.
“I told him this frog could contain salmonella and who knows how long it’s been sitting in a produce bag,” Cepeda wrote in her post.
Cepeda reported feeling sick after the incident, which she claims persisted for at least a week.
Salmonella poisoning is no joke, and frogs are a common carrier of the bacteria.
WebMD defines Salmonella as:
Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning caused by the Salmonella enterica bacterium. There are many different kinds of these bacteria. Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and Salmonella serotype Enteritidis are the most common types in the United States.
Salmonellosis is more common in the summer than in the winter. Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. Young children, older adults, and people who have impaired immune systems are the most likely to have severe infections.
The infections can even be fatal. According to the CDC there are a staggering number of infections every year.
Every year, Salmonella is estimated to cause one million foodborne illnesses in the United States, with 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.
While fatalities are a small fraction it just shows that every infection should be taken with the utmost seriousness.
Here are some symptoms you may experience with Salmonella (from WebMD):
Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. They develop 12 to 72 hours after infection, and the illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without treatment. But diarrhea and dehydration may be so severe that it is necessary to go to the hospital. Older adults, infants, and those who have impaired immune systems are at highest risk.
If you only have diarrhea, you usually recover completely, although it may be several months before your bowel habits are entirely normal. A small number of people who are infected with salmonellosis develop reactive arthritis, a disease that can last for months or years and can lead to chronic arthritis.
Salmonella is usually diagnosed by a doctor who will conduct a physical examination along with a review of your medical history, symptoms, and foods recently eaten. They’ll even review the conditions of your home and work spaces. On occasion stool cultures and blood tests will be done for the sake of confirmation.
Salmonella infections are commonly treated the following ways:
You treat salmonellosis by managing any complications until it passes. Dehydration caused by diarrhea is the most common complication. Antibiotics are not usually needed unless the infection has spread.
To prevent dehydration, take frequent sips of a rehydration drink (such as Pedialyte). Try to drink a cup of water or rehydration drink for each large, loose stool you have.
What you consume is very important. The wrong things can prolong the illness or worsen the condition.
Soda and fruit juices have too much sugar and not enough of the important electrolytes that are lost during diarrhea, and they should not be used to rehydrate.
The foods you choose to eat while infected also play a vital role in your recovery.
Try to stay with your usual diet as much as possible. Eating your usual diet will help you to get enough nutrition. Doctors believe that eating a normal diet will also help you feel better faster. But try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Also avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and coffee for 2 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Finally, while the contaminant in Cepeda’s food was hidden and she was caught off guard, there are a number of effective ways to prevent Salmonella poisoning in the first place.
- Don’t eat raw foods
- Cook food thoroughly
- Avoid raw and unpasteurized dairy products
- Wash and/or peel produce before consumption
- Avoid cross contamination of food, keep raw food away from produce that might not be cooked
- Wash your hands before and between the handling of food, as well as afterward.
- Do not prepare food or drinks for others if you are infected with Salmonella
- Wash hands after contact with animals that are carriers of the bacteria, or after contact with animal feces.