Causes and Symptoms of Salmonellosis - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Causes and Symptoms of Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is an infection with a bacteria called Salmonella, Salmonella live in the intestinal tracts of animals, including birds. Salmonella are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.

Every year, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States. Because many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be thirty or more times greater. Approximately 600 to 700 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in Minnesota.

on this page:
Fact Sheets
Duration of Illness

Fact Sheets

  • Salmonellosis Fact Sheet
    Answers to frequently asked questions about Salmonellosis.

  • Salmonella Infections
    CDC fact sheet that answers some common questions about Salmonellosis. Attention: Non-MDH link

  • Typhoid Fever
    CDC fact sheet that answers some common questions about Typhoid Fever (Salmonella typhi).Attention: Non-MDH link


Symptoms include:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain and cramps
  • fever

Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but can begin up to a week after exposure.

Duration of Illness

  • Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5-7 days.


Contaminated foods are often of animal origin, such as poultry, pork, beef, poultry, milk, or eggs, but all foods, including vegetables may become contaminated.

Many raw foods of animal origin are frequently contaminated, but fortunately, thorough cooking kills Salmonella.

Food may also become contaminated by the unwashed hands of an infected food handler, who did not wash his or her hands adequately after using the bathroom.

Salmonella may also be found in the feces of some pets, and people can become infected if they do not wash their hands after contact with animals.

  • Reptiles and baby chicks/ducklings are particularly likely to harbor Salmonella.
    • People should always wash their hands immediately after handling these animals.
    • Adults should also be careful that children wash their hands after handling a reptile.



Do you suspect that you have a foodborne or waterborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne/waterborne illnesses.


Updated Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 01:30PM