SUPERMARKETS and eateries across the country have been forced to pull chicken products from their shelves due to salmonella fears.
Salmonella is a nasty stomach bug that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
Once it enters the body, it will start causing symptoms in as little as eight hours – but not everyone gets sick.
Brits have been warned to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms as Aldi, Sainsbury's, Pret and M&S have all removed chicken sandwiches and other poultry products.
The chains have scrapped a range of ready-to-eat foods including sandwiches, wraps and salads over food poisoning risks.
Sainsbury's has pulled more than 30 chicken products from stores, as they may contain salmonella.
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The supermarket said the recall, which includes a chicken and bacon sub roll and BBQ wings, is a "precautionary measure".
But what are the signs of the bug you need to look?
The NHS says the key signs of the poisoning are:
- stomach cramps
- high temperature
- aches and pains
- generally feeling unwell
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Salmonellosis develops after ingesting salmonella bacteria, and symptoms usually take between 12 and 72 hours to develop.
However, not everyone gets symptoms. And the NHS says signs could lay low for "a few weeks" before emerging.
They tend to last between four and seven days and will not require treatment – although in extreme cases sufferers need hospital care for the resulting dehydration, which can be dangerous.
People infected with salmonella should remember to drink plenty of fluids.
How is salmonella spread?
Salmonella is usually spread in contaminated food that is not properly prepared before eating.
The bacteria live in the gut of many farm animals.
And therefore, humans usually get infected by eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or egg products (such as mayonnaise).
The salmonella can be spread from the animals faeces to the flesh while being butchered.
To ensure bacteria is killed prior to eating, make sure to cook meat fully through.
Do not wash raw poultry, meat, or eggs before cooking.
Fruit, vegetables, and shellfish can also be contaminated by manure in soil or sewage in the water.
You should wash fruit and veg thoroughly before eating or cooking.
Salmonella can also contaminate processed foods, such as nut butters, frozen pies and chicken nuggets.
Tortoises, terrapins, and pet reptiles can carry the bacteria, while dogs, cats, and rodents can also sometimes become infected.
Additionally, salmonella can be passed from person to person by poor hygiene.
Failing to wash your hands after visiting the toilet or preparing food such as raw chicken can allow it to spread.
Doctors may recommend a rehydration solution from a pharmacy, and in some cases, antibiotics are necessary.
Anyone can get sick from the bug, but young kids, elderly people, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems such as those battling cancer are especially vulnerable.
Is it life threatening?
Salmonella usually doesn’t threaten life, with less than one per cent of those affected dying.
But complications can develop, and these are more dangerous for vulnerable people.
With diarrhoea comes the risk of dehydration, which is always serious.
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If salmonella infection enters your bloodstream, it can infect tissues throughout your body, including around the brain, heart and blood vessels, the Mayo Clinic says.
Some people may develop a condition called reactive arthritis also known as Reiter’s syndrome weeks or even months later. This causes joint pain, eye irritation, and painful urination.
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