Salmonella infection: symptoms and advice

Salmonella causes the gastro-intestinal illness salmonellosis when it colonises the walls of the intestine. Find out how Salmonella can make you ill and how to avoid infection.


Symptoms of salmonellosis appear within 72 hours, and include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • diarrhoea
  • fever
  • headache.

Discomfort usually lasts between 1 to 7 days but in more severe cases it can go on for up to 10 days.

Salmonella infections often resolve themselves and don’t usually require treatment unless you develop other complicating factors. Lots of fluids and rest is normally all that is needed.

How you can be exposed

Raw meats, poultry, unpasteurised milk and dairy products, seafood, fresh produce (including seed sprouts), tahini, and foods handled by infected food handlers, such as kebabs and sandwiches, have been linked with outbreaks of Salmonella.

You may also be exposed through contact with pets, birds, other animals, infected people, the environment itself, and untreated water.

How to avoid illness

Salmonella multiply quickly in warm, moist conditions, so it's important to store food properly or refrigerate to minimise their growth. You can reduce the risk of contracting salmonellosis by following simple food handling tips.

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