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Salmonella’s nasty secret

You don’t have to be a detective to know that salmonella—bacteria that can cause food poisoning—may lurk in raw or undercooked eggs and undercooked chicken. But you may be surprised to learn that researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark., uncovered some other sources of the bacteria. Researchers studied the homes of 50 children under age 4 who were infected with salmonella poisoning. Their findings: The bacteria were present in 38 percent of the homes and detected in dirt around front doors, in vacuum cleaners, on a refrigerator shelf, on a piece of cheese and on pets and insects. Action plan: Salmonella is transmitted through fecal matter, so it can spread practically anywhere. Make sure you’re careful about cleaning surface areas, cooking meat and eggs thoroughly and washing your hands, especially after visiting the bathroom, changing diapers and petting animals.