It seems entirely possible that we will have to give up eating raw vegetables altogether. The recent salmonella outbreak has sickened more than 1,000 people across the country. It was first linked to raw tomatoes; now the CDC and the FDA are looking at jalapeños and cilantro as possible causes (mmm, salsa). And despite laws that require distributors to keep track of where produce originates, no one, it seems, can pinpoint the source of contamination (registration required).
It seems a prudent time for CNN to run a feature helpfully titled “If You Had Salmonella Poisoning, Would You Know?”
Here are some clues: E. coli and salmonella infections often look alike, with vomiting, abdominal cramps, other intestinal sadness that I won’t go into here, and a low-grade fever. Don’t mess with E. coli—it can cause your kidneys to permanently fail, while salmonella usually results in fewer long-term problems. The article does note that if you experience a lot of blood in your stool accompanied by fever, it’s probably best that you seek medical attention at your earliest convenience.
But besides cooking everything to a pale shade of Army green (including fruit), how can you avoid salmonella? The CDC has some suggestions to start you off. And if you do get sick? Don’t blame the mayo!