Salmonella infection in Bruges - lessons for us

A salmonella infection has broken out at the Spermalie hotel and tourism school in Bruges. Some 150 pupils and some teachers are said to be ill. This is reported in Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) of 9 September 2019. According to the management, a few days earlier there had been a striking number of reports of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. There are now five confirmed cases of salmonellosis, the
infectious bowel disease caused by a salmonella bacterium. The exact cause of the infection is still under investigation.
Such a message appears from time to time. Food infections and food poisoning are a major problem. Bacteria such as the salmonella bacteria mentioned above are usually the cause.
And often careless preparation of meat plays an important role. Realize that the outside of raw meat is teeming with bacteria. When heated, the bacteria die. But the cutting board and the knife with which it is cut are still full of bacteria. Don't use them to cut vegetables with them. Wash everything that has come into contact with raw meat immediately with hot water. The same goes for the hands, of course.
Also be alert when barbecuing, gourmet, stone grilling or fondue. It's often done automatically. We take pieces of raw meat by hand and then put a piece of bread or toast in the mouth with the same hand. This can lead to bacterial contamination unnoticed. Also make sure that the meat is heated through and through. Never put roasted meat back on the plate on which it was lying in the raw state.
Avoid getting sick and therefore avoid some common mistakes in food preparation:
- Touching food with contaminated hands,
- Insufficient cleaning of utensils in the kitchen and kitchen sink,
- Insufficient heating of food to allow bacteria and other pathogens to survive,
- Food should not be kept refrigerated or kept refrigerated insufficiently.