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Salmonella: Causes, Results and Solutions

There a wide range of causes lead to food poisoning such as chemicals, fungi and microbes. Salmonella bacterias are the most typical causes associated with foodborne health problems on the globe. In Saudi Arabia, as result of the increase of temps, the surroundings there would work to expand microbes in food and this lead to ruin food, thus occurrence food poisoning. In this particular research, salmonella food poisoning is talked about and the sources of these bacterias in Saudi Arabia are motivated. The study also focuses on the relationship between a few of common food with Salmonella, such as shawarma rooster sandwiches.

Food poisoning is common among people specially children and oldsters because they don't have enough immunity to avoid diseases. There are many explanations of food poisoning but it is merely thought as any disease disorder arise in human body specifically in the digestive tract and that because of consuming food or drink that are contaminated with bacterias or contaminants.

The symptoms of food poisoning are various between people, for example (Gamarra 2008) notes that:

The symptoms, differing in degree and combination, include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and head pain; more serious circumstances can lead to life-threatening neurologic, hepatic, and renal syndromes leading to permanent impairment or death.

Although the multiplicity of foodborne diseases which are transmitted through food, the food poisoning occurring as a result of bacterias come in the fore. Furthermore, food is an important factor for progress of bacterias and it offers an appropriate medium for bacterial colonies. There are two types of microbial food poisoning; first one is real poisoning microbes and this induced by bacterial toxins that happen to be secreted in food, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium botulinum. Second type is food contamination, and that due to occurrence of microbes in food is greatly, such as salmonella.


Salmonella bacteria is objectionable visitor in homes and restaurants and chlamydia occur when human being eat foods which contain salmonella microbes. This bacterium was named after Dr. Daniel Salmon learned it in 1885(Davis n. d) (7). Generally, salmonella is a germ which is accessible in the intestines of men and women and animals and pass on by their feces. There will vary kinds of salmonella and all of them bring about poisoning.

Salmonella Growth & survival

The suitable temperatures for salmonella development are which range from 35 c to 37c, However (ESR Ltd Company 2001) points out that, "salmonella TPHI can be survive at 5 c and over 45 c" (3). Alternatively, freezing foods hinders the development of the salmonella, but won't damage it. Also, the pH of food influences the growth and success of salmonella, the number where salmonella will grow is about 3. 8 - 9. 5.

However, salmonella bacterias can only be demolished by food preparation for enough time with temperature and each kind of food has a specific cooking temperatures that enough to damage the bacterias.

Salmonella sources

Normally, salmonella is accessible in various places, so there are several resources of salmonella infection. The natural home is the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals, including birds (Cliver 1990, p. 189). Salmonella are usually sent to humans by consuming foods contaminated with creature feces. The major source is food of animal origins, such as meats, poultry, dairy and dairy products, eggs, seafood, that contain not been grilled properly, in addition to some fruits and vegetables. Certainly, contacts with animals as sheep and rooster or also pets transmit the bacterias. Although, chicks and young birds carry salmonella in their feces, they look like healthy and the symptoms are unapparent on the wild birds. (Cliver 1990, p 200) remarks that, the birds can coexist with the microbes normally. Another way to obtain illness is people and that due contact with salmonellosis people straight or by food handlers which because of hygienic lack.

Salmonella symptoms

The symptoms of salmonella illness usually look within 6 - 72 time after eating or drinking alcohol contaminated food, and include; fever, stomachache, diarrhea, nausea and sometimes vomiting. The illness is often takes from 1-7 days and nights and treatment is not required, so most people restore without treatment. However, children and older people folks have to see a doctor if affected. (Illinois Division of Open public Health n. d) (8).

Salmonella about the world

In last ten years, food borne condition are increased at the global level especially salmonella infections and that scheduled to numerous factors. Gamarra's perspective is the fact that, changing food behaviors which is caused by travel and activity between countries is one of the fundamental factors, in addition to that the International trade and the globalization of food creation lead to transmission of food microbes between countries(2008). The Outbreak of salmonella food poisoning which is triggered by contaminated tomatoes in many areas in USA and Canada can be an example. Alternatively, the emergence of new strains of salmonella which resist drugs is triggered by excessive maltreatment of antibiotics and organic fertilizers.

Table 3. Examples of Large Food-Borne Disease Outbreaks in some countries, salmonella in the business lead (Gamarra 2008)(1)

Country: United Kingdom

Year: 1985

Disease: Salmonellosis

Number of Instances: 1000


Country: Saudi Arabia

Year: 2005

Disease: Salmonellosis

Number of Circumstances: 3336


Country: United States

Year: 1993

Disease: Salmonellosis

Number of Situations: 224, 000


Country: Germany

Year: 1993

Disease: Salmonellosis

Number of Cases: 1000

Salmonella in Saudi Arabia

The factors behind salmonella infection vary from country to country and this with regards to the suitable environment. In Saudi Arabia, warm weather, which grows to to 50c in the summertime, contribute to pass on of salmonella. Under this degree of temp, it is difficult to keep any food outside refrigerator because it will ruin quickly. Participating women to men working beyond your house in addition to changing the traditional food habits lead to depending a great deal of men and women on restaurants. These transformations in Saudi contemporary society, contribute to spread junk food restaurants. In view of the Riyadh city, it is apparent that most of the international fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Kentucky, and Pizza Hut have become many branches of them in last 10 years. As will as, traditional restaurants are popular in the city. Regrettably, those restaurants, especially the traditional restaurants, are looking for profit with no consideration of the hygienic applications. In addition to, these restaurants employ non-qualified staffs who don't have proper recognition or experience in dealing with food.

Chicken shawarma sandwich is a common meals among Saudis, particularly at dinner time. As a result, shawarma restaurants have propagate throughout Saudi Arabia and, according to Environmental Health Office information in Riyadh City, the amount of shawarma restaurants which got obtained a permit by2000 was over 6127. There's a popular opinion in Saudi Arabia that, the consumption of fowl shawarma is the major reason resulting in outbreaks of salmonella infection cases and that perception without considering to other factors. Many of salmonella food poisoning reviews that happen to be circulated by magazines and T. V make reference to chicken shawarma sandwich as a culprit because the main element of shawarma sandwich is hen, which is principally the reservoir of the bacteria.

Shawarma are slices of marinated chicken or some times lamb which are placed on the vertical skewer. The diameter of shawarma is up to 50 cm and its own weight over than 60 kilograms, in a few times spices and animal fat or essential oil is added. For cocking, shawarma is roasted slowly on all factors as the skewer rotates in front of or higher a flame for a period of a long time. When the color of surface is change to brownish, shawarma is sliced by special knives into small items. To produce a sandwich, shawarma is loaded inside Arabic bread which is Round and Flat. Some time shawarma is served in a plate as a meal with homemade mayonnaise, tomato vegetables, and renewable salad.



Saudi newspapers announce salmonella food poisoning incidences plus they refer specifically to rooster shawarma with a great level of sensitivity, and yes it is blamed by journalists. (Rwaishid 2008) from the Hyatt paper reported that, about 33 people suffered from food poisoning after eating meal in a famous shawarma restaurant in Jeffrey town (in the east of Al-Ahsa in Saudi Arabia). The patients were moved by ambulances to Al-Jafari Standard Hospital to get a treatment. Most of the patients left a healthcare facility 1 day later after received necessary treatment except five patients; one of them was under serious condition and that corresponding to medical options at a healthcare facility. Pursuing that, shawarma restaurant owner was imprisoned by the police because they suspected that the reason for the infection is from the food which was prepared in his restaurant. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Health office said that, all values about poisoning from poultry sahawrma are uncertain until the laboratory results seem. However, the shawarma sandwich involved a large percentage of salmonella bacteria and that based on the final laboratory result.

In general, rooster in shawarma might be one of the reason why that occurring poisoning and moving salmonella contamination but, it is not the only reason. Laboratory bring about previous event gave a general effect without specification from which area of the sandwich was used the sample. Even though the poultry is the tank of salmonella, there are other factors which may be moved salmonella, such as cooks, equipment plus some chemicals to the sandwich as salad and mayonnaise.

Basically, shawarma sandwich consists of fowl in addition to mayonnaise and salad. The salad may be the source of illness because may be irrigated it by contaminated water start bacteria. Water sources in Saudi Arabia are scarce and unusual, so water resource is depending on desalination of sea normal water; yet, in some areas that happen to be away from the sea digging wells to provide normal water are normal. Although all plants in Saudi Arabia depend on irrigation, subsequently some farmers resort to irrigate vegetation by swamps or sewage especially in villages which can be from control. Irrigation crop by polluted water is a serious health problem and transmit foodborne pathogens particularly when spraying normal water on the vegetation and touch the berries. When the vegetation are near earth or under it as carrot and potatoes the probability to contamination is more. There is an experiment conducted on tomato vegetables plant by (Jablasone et al, 2004) demonstrated that, there is a potential for copy salmonella microbe from irrigation drinking water by damage main to tomatoes fruits. On the other hand, when the salad was planning in the restaurant may be it had not been washed well, or could be remaining in unsanitary conditions which resulted in spoil.

Cooks also may be carriers of bacteria plus they did not apply the hygienic rules in workplace. Usually in many shawarma restaurants, cooks are getting ready sandwiches without wear palm gloves or face mask and that business lead easily to infect shawarma. Sadly, some cooks don't have a health licenses, or they may have but expired, which is unlawful and contrary with health regulations. In Saudi Arabia there are no official sahwarma factories, as final result for that it's manufactured in houses or in restaurants under unsanitary conditions. Primitive and unclean equipment are used and that is definitely an important factor to grow bacteria. To shorten enough time some cooks thaw the frozen chicken directly, through warm water and that lead to spread of bacterias on chicken surface. Some times, shawarma is not sold on the same day thus it is leaved to another day at room temperature which is up to 35 c which is optimum for salmonella activity. Alternatively, the diameter of shwarma, which reach to 50 cm around skewer, is deterrent being able to access heat to the guts of shawarma and offering worm clime for bacteria. Usually, shawarma is reheated on the fire for several times and that business lead to ruin it, but cooks add more spices to obscure unpalatable flavour.

Mayonnaise is considered one of the very most delicate foods for poisoning due to main element of mayonnaise is raw eggs. Moreover, there is a great prospect of transmission of salmonella from rooster through the eggs shall. The microbe might permeate the destroyed shell then reach to yolks. Greatly, homemade mayonnaise is employed in shawarma restaurants; however commercially-prepared mayonnaise is more protection but it is offered in luxury restaurants. Minimizing the expenses and protecting the flavor are the known reasons for using homemade mayonnaise. Neglecting mayonnaise beyond your refrigerator for years or before flame all the day during selling shawarma are harmful and lead to rapid spoil.

In May 1996, Abha Basic Clinic (in Abha city, south-west Saudi Arabia) received 200 circumstances of salmonella poisoning triggered by consumption dinner which bought from a restaurant specific in fried rooster. The Investigations mainly suspected the rooster, but the laboratory result revealed that the reason for poisoning was the mayonnaise and garlic clove which are created in the restaurant. The event report that was conducted by (AL-Ahmadi 1998) demonstrated that:

Only mayonnaise and minced garlic were associated with cases. Salmonella was isolated from 124 (84%) of the 159 people with symptoms of food poisoning. Mayonnaise was well prepared in the restaurant utilizing a regular blender. Minced garlic clove was prepared with the same blender immediately after making the mayonnaise. Unsafe storage area of the mayonnaise at room temperatures for a median of 6 hours could have resulted in overgrowth of bacteria and a high infective dose of bacteria per serving.


To decrease the occurrences of salmonella food poisoning the problem is should be resolved from all aspects and this trough manages of the factors which have an impact on on get spread around of food borne. The solutions are distributed between Environmental Health Offices and restaurants in additional to consumers. The applications of hygienic procedures are the most crucial things that may be observed when the buyer eating in the restaurant and that is apparently through staffs look and cleanliness of the place. Purchasing from open up restaurants and small booth is unacceptable and must be restricted.

In food poisoning situations which caused by shawarma, Environmental Health Officers are usually take examples from the final meal that is formulated with hen, salads and mayonnaise, and this way is not determine the source of contamination in the meal. Sampling from each type of food separately provides certain result to know the foundation of contamination. Similarly, browsing restaurants daily and sampling from all food and workers are also necessary.

Preventing irrigation vegetation by sewage and creating new methods to provide water will be the first step. It can be used alternative method of irrigation system which reserve water, such as drip irrigation system, or recycle swamps and sewage treatment system. In restaurant, salad must be washed and soaked in disinfectant solution for minutes because the bacteria, especially salmonella are very sensitive to sterile solutions.

Using homemade mayonnaise must be stopped decisively; it is preferable to use commercially mayonnaise. For (Omahen 1996), food scientists at the University or college of Georgia, Center for Food Safety exhibited that, commercially-prepared mayonnaise actually reduces the amount of salmonella in foods since it has acid that can come from vinegar and lemon. That result was approved by small test in lab, when commercial mayonnaise was added to foods inoculated with salmonella; the salmonella cells decreased.

When shawarma is getting ready, pursuing proper hygienic request is required to avoid spoil. Building factories which make swhawarma under sanitary and clean conditions is a significant point. If swhawrma is prep in home or restaurant, going out of the frozen rooster in the fridge until steadily thaw is the best way to slow bacterias activity. In order to avoid cross-contamination in chicken must be tossing off of water that resulting from the thaw. Shawerma must be maintained in refrigerator at 4 c which is not appropriate disregard it in room heat range several hour. It suggested to minimizing the shawarma diameter to 20 cm and the weight to 30 kilograms and this to ensure access the flame warmth into center. As well as, increasing acid percentage such as vinegar or lemon is salutary because it changes the pH of food thus avoids the development of salmonella.

When hiring cooks, they need to have appropriate skills and adequate experience in their field. Qualifying programs for new cooks to familiarize them with hygienic program is essential and health permit is compulsory and basic for many cooks.


Shawarma may be responsible for salmonella food poisoning in Saudi Arabia, especially in the summertime season because it contains three sorts of food which are often spoilt, but is not the major cause. Mayonnaise, salad, and cooks are main factors adding to the copy of microbes and when making use of the hygienic condition, salmonella food poisoning will be reduced. Restaurants certificate must be restudied again and change some conditions to match modern life. All of the solutions may be effective in lowering the happenings of poisoning, but it cannot change one of the most crucial factors that is hot weather in Saudi Arabia.

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