Sneaky Salmonella

August 10, 2009
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Dodge Danger at the Dinner Table.

beefSalmonella, the single most common cause of food poisoning in the United States, has made the headlines again.

Several Western states are reporting the Salmonella bacteria in tainted meat. Fresno-based Beef Packers Inc. has recalled more than 800,000 pounds of ground beef, sold to shoppers at King Soopers, Safeway, and Sam’s Club. Salmonella causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever, usually 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated foods.

Earlier this year, this bacteria contaminated peanuts and peanut butter. Last summer, it was Salmonella in tomatoes and jalapenos. This pathogen is common in poultry and eggs, as well. Outbreaks of this infection are so common today that the Food and Drug Administration’s website now has a generic template that food companies can use to report their Salmonella-related recalls.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records about 40,000 cases annually. For each reported case of Salmonella, epidemiologists estimate another 38 cases of this form of food poisoning aren’t recorded. Could it be that many intestinal flu symptoms are actually caused by Salmonella?

In healthy individuals with no digestive problems, stomach acid may be strong enough to knock out this bacteria. However, people taking antacids or heartburn medicines give this pathogen a helping hand by neutralizing your body’s natural acid-fighting pH. Salmonella that survives in the stomach can move on to the intestines, where the real dirty work begins.

Young children, seniors, and those with immune system problems are most likely to experience severe infections. For example, the rate of diagnosed Salmonella in preschoolers is five times that of other people. In some cases, this bacteria can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and other parts of the body—and may even lead to death. While antibiotics are advised for serious infections, remember these drugs also kill the beneficial bacteria that help protect you from the millions of pathogens that normally inhabit your gastrointestinal tract.

Salmonella has been around for millions of years—predating humans. And it’s likely to outlast us. However in the last 50 years the rate of infection has increased more than tenfold, with experts blaming the industrialization of agriculture and food processing for the rise.

The challenge with Salmonella is that you can’t tell if food is contaminated by looking at it, smelling it, or tasting it. This bacteria thrives in warm, damp places with little oxygen, making manure an ideal habitat. And one infected cow is enough to transmit Salmonella to an entire herd when they’re jammed too closely together. Chickens can often keep Salmonella in check when they’re able to roam free—but not when they’re warehoused tightly together with no room to move around.

Dr. Ann Louise’s Take:

I am seriously concerned about the presence of bacteria, pesticides, fungus, and parasites in our food supply. In light of the recent beef recalls, I have been ordering all my beef and poultry from Ranch Foods Direct as an extra safety precaution. The company’s beef and poultry are not only hormone and antibiotic-free, but all beef is also processed using a special rinse and chill technology that improves flavor and tenderness while substantially cutting the risk of pathogenic contamination.

I LOVE their pledge: We believe food, animals and the land should be managed using sustainable, humane practices that promote the long-term health of rural families and communities.

I also know you’re gonna love this exceptionally tender and flavorful beef as much as my family does.  So, I’ve arranged a 10 percent discount for you.   Visit and then call 1-866-866-6328 to make your selection (use the code “ALG” to receive your discount).


Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Dina

    If you do get food poisoning; I always drink a couple of chugs of apple cider vinegar. If you just can’t bear the thought of it straight, you can cut it with pure warm water and a little honey. When traveling, I always have it with me. It is an old fashioned idea that really works for me. It is better than riding out an otherwise unpleasant time.

  2. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Good idea — You can also carry some probiotics like Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics 12 Plus that have been found to kill the superbugs like the more virulent salmonella strains. Charcoal is also a good antidote. Keep em coming, gang!

  3. devastar

    That said, this is only my experence. I am not a Doctor and do not prescribe. You may want to see a doctor or at least call an advise nurse.

  4. Randi

    If you’re in the throes of food poisoning will Dr. Ohira’s, charcoal, or ACV really help?

  5. Ann Louise Gittleman

    From my personal experience, Dr. Ohhira’s works wonders in the throes of food poisoning. I have seen it work in little over an hour on my cruise (two cruisers drank some tainted water) and saw it again firsthand at a professional event. Taking 5 every other hour seemed to be the magic formula. It is available on the site, of course, as well as the soap 🙂


    That is why I went VEGAN about 2 weeks ago. I can’t stand all this unsafe meat and the inhumane conditions they are in, not to mention how they are salttered. I feel so good and healthy and it has only been 2 weeks.

  7. Pat

    Please note the majority of salmonella outbreaks in the last 10 years have been in commercial vegetables. The improper handling of vegetable foods is significantly a greater risk. In any case you should only buy organic small farm raised animal protein.

  8. Julie

    Hi, I thank Ann Louise for this information and the link to Colorado’s Ranch Foods Direct (my near neighbor, here in New Mexico). However, the coupon code (“ALG”) did not work when I attempted to place an order. Has anyone else had this experience? Thanks.

  9. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Thanks everyone for your great comments. Julie: Please note that you will need to call Ranch Foods Direct to place the order using the coupon code. They are not set up for discounts for ALG on the web. Plus, it is very helpful to chat with them directly. Visit and then call 1-866-866-6328 to make your selection (use the code “ALG” to receive your discount).

  10. Ann Louise Gittleman

    This just in from a grateful subscriber who spoke with ranchfoodsdirect!

    “I actually was looking for ground beef for my dogs and I didn’t want to pay over $2.00 a pound. They have a ground beef for pets with organ meats AND BONE MEAL. And it will be a lot better than I can get locally that is sold for people. I will be ordering 60 pounds a month and they have me on automatic reorder!!”

    I didn’t even know this 🙂

    Thank you,Thank you, Anne Louise,

  11. Liz Beck

    It’s so good to know First Aid for food problems.
    I’ve used the probiotics that Ann Louise mentioned when I had extreme stomach pains after eating some organic turkey slices. It worked.

    I’m taking probiotic soap with me when I go on an Alaskan Cruise in Sept. What you can’t see, can hurt you.

  12. Ann Louise Gittleman

    Dear Friends:
    I would love to answer each and every single one of your queries, as I have done to the best of my ability, in the past. The popularity of this Blog has grown to the extent that I can no longer provide that service but I am in the planning stages of an Internet – TV show where you can call in and get those questions answered by me in person! Please stay tuned for this exciting development. I first must complete a new manuscript and then will make some exciting announcements. In the interim, may I suggest that if you have questions about products, call UNI KEY at 1-800-888-4353. The folks there are helpful and will direct you accordingly. If you are concerned about a particular health condition, then by all means check out the Testing Kits on my site which will help you to determine underlying causes. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest!


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