Salmonella enteritidis, a type of Salmonella bacteria, is usually found in eggs infected by foecal germs. Many species of salmonella cause sickness but Salmonella enteritidis is one of the most common.
The U.S. Agriculture Department reports that this bacterium is now found more often in chicken meat. Tests conducted during the years 2000 to 2005 show a fourfold increase of salmonella enteritidis in chicken meat.
Salmonella reportedly causes sickness in at least 40,000 people every year with an annual death toll of about 600 in the US.
The infection of this bacteria causes fever, stomach cramps and diarrhoea; in some cases, when they invade the bloodstream it may become fatal.
The U.S. Agriculture Department advises people to eat chicken at home or at least cook it to 165 degrees, at which temperature the bacteria perish.
It also suggests that food thermometers be used and the rules for safe cooking be followed meticulously, which includes washing hands well before cooking, separating cooked food from raw and refrigerating food that has to be stored right away.
Pork, beef, raw fruits, vegetables and dairy products also harbor Salmonella.