Common symptoms of salmonella include diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, fever and occasionally vomiting. These symptoms usually last 4-7 days and clear up without treatment.
Salmonella can cause illness through a number of routes including contaminated food, environmental exposure, or transmission from infected animals.
During the late 1990s, when vaccination against Salmonella Enteritidis was introduced in the poultry industry, there was a 37% decrease in the number of cases of Salmonella in Scotland, and in following years the numbers have continued to decline annually.
EU Regulation requires Member States to take effective measures to detect and control Salmonellas of public health significance in specified animal species at all relevant stages of production. National Control Programmes have been established in the UK to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry and pigs at primary production level. They cover farm animal species which present a potential risk of transmitting Salmonella and other zoonotic agents to humans. This work is led by Defra and devolved Agriculture Departments in the UK, although the FSA actively participates in these activities.
Salmonella remains an important pathogen that still causes a large number of cases and is responsible for a large number of outbreaks each year. Therefore FSA continues to monitor the incidence of Salmonella cases and outbreaks to ensure that a downward trend in case numbers continues, and is prepared to take further action if the situation worsens.