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Salmonellosis is an infection of animals and man caused by a group of bacteria called Salmonella. These can live in the digestive tract of a wide range of mammals (including people), birds and reptiles and are present worldwide.

Over 2,500 strains (Serovars) of Salmonella are known most of which rarely cause disease. However certain strains, such as Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium, may cause human disease if, for example, foodstuffs become contaminated with animal faeces. Eggs from infected hens and milk from infected dairy herds may also contain salmonella. Infection may also follow contact with infected animals.

Infection is usually fairly short-lived and often does not cause any obvious disease. However disease may occur with high temperature, diarrhoea and blood poisoning. In a few cases infected animals or people may carry certain strains of the bacteria for prolonged periods.

Laboratories report all findings of Salmonella in samples from food producing animals and animal feed to the Government every year. These data are gathered together and published.

Further information

We are in the process of moving more detailed information about Salmonella into this new website. In the meantime further information is available on our old website.

Additional key documents and resources include:

Page last modified: 24 January 2013