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Salmonella & E. Coli — What Are They?

Salmonella and E. coli are bacteria and top 2 causes of food poisoning in the world. They are similar bacteria, salmonella evolved from E. coli about a million years ago, which explains their same means of transmission and common symptoms. But, they are different as E. coli is much more heterogeneous compared to salmonella, and therefore has more dangerous effects.

Salmonella causes Salmonellosis which is one of the world’s common infections of food poisoning with tens of millions of cases reported annually. Salmonella infections are more common in the summer than the winter because it grows faster in higher temperatures. Infections from salmonella can cause fever, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and pain. Although most people get better on their own within 4-7 days, make sure you see a doctor if your case is severe.

Escherichia coli (E. coli), is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines and sometimes gut of some animals.  Although most types of E. coli are harmless, some species are pretty harmful and can cause infections like food poisoning, fever, adult kidney failure, seizures, pneumonia, and urinary tract diseases. Although most people get better within 10 days, some severe cases can extend beyond that. If you have any of the above symptoms, it is best you seek professional help.

Common causes:

Both Salmonella and E. coli are present in the intestines and feces of both humans and animals and they both require ingestion for infection to be initiated.

Common ways of infections include:

  • Eating undercooked or raw contaminated foods
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Eating or drinking improperly processed dairy products
  • Swimming or playing in contaminated water
  • Having contact with feces
  • Having contact with infected animals
  • Eating improperly washed fruits and vegetables
  • Having contact with infected people


The best ways to protect yourself and your family from salmonella and E. coli infections is to:

  • Maintain good personal hygiene:  ensure to wash your hands especially:
  • After playing with pets
  • Using the toilet
  • Caring for infected people
  • Before eating.
  • Maintain good cooking practices: in the kitchen, you can also prevent infections by
  • Always washing and cooking meat and vegetables properly
  • Washing  ready to eat fruits properly
  • Washing  cooking garments and utensils
  • Cleaning  cooking surfaces
  • Thawing  meat in the refrigerator and not at room temperature
  • Separating meats and other raw foods from fruits, vegetables and other ready to eat products when shopping.
  • Maintain clean drinking water
  • Avoid swallowing water while swimming
  • Avoid going to pools when infected and within two weeks of recovery.

Legal Action

If you suspect that food from a restaurant caused you to experience food poisoning, let our experienced attorneys explain your legal options. You could be eligible to pursue compensation. To find out more, fill out our online form and schedule your free consultation.