Is Your Kitchen Making You Sick? 6 Food-born Illnesses and How to Nix Them

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In the kitchen, food abounds. Which means potential for illness, infection, and food poisoning also abounds. Here are the top 6 food-born bacteria that might be lurking in your kitchen, and how to kick the sick before it gets you.


  • Staphylococcus aureus 1 of 6
    Staphylococcus aureus
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS: Raw foods; unpasteurized milk and dairy products, such as soft cheeses * SYMPTOMS: Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea * NIX IT BY: Refrigerating foods within 2 hours or less after cooking because cold temperatures will help keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying.
  • Salmonella enteriditis 2 of 6
    Salmonella enteriditis
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS: Raw and undercooked eggs, which can often be found: homemade hollandaise sauce, caesar and other salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings. * SYMPTOMS:Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea * NIX IT BY: Using recipe which call for cooked eggs, or no eggs at all.
  • Vibrio vulnificus 3 of 6
    Vibrio vulnificus
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS: Raw and undercooked shellfish Symptoms: Chills, fever, and collapse * NIX IT BY: Cooking foods properly and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
  • C. botulinum (Botulism) 4 of 6
    C. botulinum (Botulism)
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS: Improperly canned goods; smoked or salted fish * SYMPTOMS: Double vision, inability to swallow, difficulty speaking, and inability to breathe. Seek medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms. * NIX IT BY: Consume professionally canned foods. Do not store opened metal cans in the fridge, always transfer unused food into an airtight plastic container.
  • E. coli 5 of 6
    E. coli
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS:Fresh or minimally processed produce; contaminated water * SYMPTOMS: Bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting * NIX IT BY: Using a fruit & vegetable rinse to completely clean fresh fruits and veggies before cutting. Also, clean surfaces well before and after using them to prepare food.
  • Salmonella 6 of 6
    Salmonella
    SOURCES OF ILLNESS: Raw and undercooked meat and poultry * SYMPTOMS: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting * NIX IT BY: Keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods. Also, wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.

Also on Babble: 15 kale recipes for kids — pesto, hearty ham soup, and more!

credit: all photos in this post from sxc.hu

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