There are more than 2,500 strains of salmonella bacteria. These live in the guts of domestic and wild animals including, chicken, cattle, pigs, hedgehogs, snakes and lizards.
Salmonella causes food poisoning. Foods such as eggs, chicken, pork and dairy produce can carry salmonellas. Fruit and vegetables can also become contaminated if they have been in contact with livestock, manure or untreated water. People preparing food should make sure that they wash their hands and clean kitchen equipment thoroughly to prevent the spread of salmonellas from meat to other foods in the kitchen. People can also become infected from contact with individuals with diarrhoea or from unwell animals.
Symptoms of diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever usually develop between 12 and 72 hours after becoming infected. Illness usually lasts from 4 to 7 days. People with severe or prolonged symptoms should consult a doctor.
For general information on salmonella, visit NHS Choices.