SALMONELLA: Are You Protected?

There are over 2000 types of Salmonella bacteria in the world. Salmonella Infection usually occurs when a person ingests contaminated food from the faeces of animals.

It can also be transmitted from human to human when there are poor hygiene habits such as when changing baby diapers or cleaning up after children or the elderly. Transmission also happens through food such as contaminated drinking water or tainted dairy products. Poor sanitation and close contact with carriers of the bacteria can put your life in danger.

The most common salmonella infections are Typhoid Fever and Parathyphoid Fever which are caused by Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Paratyphi. These infections, which starts off as food poisoning may become fatal if taken lightly.


Anyone is at risk of salmonella infection as it is easily transmitted. However, certain groups of people are at higher risk of getting infected, such as:

  • Food and beverage handlers
  • Children
  • Senior Citizens
  • Foreign Workers
  • Laboratory Workers
  • Military Personnel
  • Tourists or travelers
  • National Service Trainees
  • Those with impaired immune system

The biggest cause of salmonella infection especially in developing countries is poor quality control and handling processes of food products, scarce knowledge and lack of education. Examples include consuming food handled by a salmonella bacteria carrier. Simple hygiene habits such a washing hands before and after using the toilet are often overlooked, leading to easy transmission.


It is essential to identify the symptoms of salmonella infection such as:

  • High fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rashes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chills
  • Delirium
  • Bloody stools

If you have these symptoms or know of someone who is showing these symptoms, consult the doctor immediately.

Salmonella infection that is diagnosed and treated early with the necessary medication and antibiotics can save lives. Left untreated, salmonella can lead to a series of health complications including intestinal bleeding, perforation, sepsis, even death.

There are various ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from this harmful and deadly bacteria, such as liquid vaccines that are injected into your body and oral capsules.

The oral vaccine for typhoid fever which needs to be taken for 5 days consists of three capsules. It provides a good option to aichmophobics, people who fear needles, at the same time providing high efficacy levels.

Vaccination is the best option for people who handle food on a daily basis to gain protection for yourself, your family members and the customers who enjoy your food. You would not want to risk spreading the bacteria around.


Under the Food Act 1983 and Food Hygiene Regulation 2009, any food and beverage (F & B) handler working in any F & B outlet who has not been trained or does not have medical certification indicating that he or she has received the typhoid vaccination every three years will be fined no more than RM10,000 or be sentenced to no more than two years imprisonment.

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