Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that is commonly referred to as dysentery. Implicated foods include contaminated raw produce and moist ready-to-eat foods such as potato, tuna, turkey and macaroni salads that have been mishandled during preparation by an infected person. Contaminated water has also been identified as a source of this illness.
This illness is usually characterized by diarrhea, cramps and chills, often accompanied by fever. Symptoms usually appear within 12-96 hours, but can take as long as one week. Duration of illness is usually 4-7 days.
Humans are the most significant source. People may carry this pathogen for several weeks and excrete it in their feces. Asymptomatic carriers may transmit the illness to others for months, or longer.
Mode of Transmission
Illness can occur after ingesting as few as 10-100 individual bacteria. The bacteria are usually spread by persons with poor handwashing habits after toilet use, who subsequently contaminate food. Flies have also been known to transfer the disease from feces to water, milk and food.
- Food-protection education
- Good personal hygiene and handwashing
- Fly control
- Remove employees with the illness from food handling duties until cleared by a physician
National Restaurant Association