Medical Specialties: Emergency medicine, Gastroenterology

Clinical Definition

Salmonella is a type of bacteria and a common cause of foodborne illness, or food poisoning. The infection associated with Salmonella is called salmonellosis.

In Our Own Words

Salmonella bacteria are one of the most common causes of food poisoning. Gastroenteritis with diarrhea and cramping is the most common presentation. Symptoms can last for four to seven days, and they usually clear up without antibiotic treatment. But some cases can be serious, especially in infants and older adults.


You can reduce your chances of getting Salmonella by avoiding raw and undercooked foods such as eggs, poultry, meat, raw vegetables and unpasteurized dairy products. Other sources of Salmonella do exist, so it’s important to wash hands, especially after handling animals.

Relevant Conditions
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Salmonellosis
Side Effects
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever/headache
Share this article
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Salmonella.” Accessed July 2013.
  • "Salmonella: Federal Food Safety Information." Accessed July 2013.
Keep Reading

Investigate your bodys signs and signals.
Try Symptom Checker