The Center for Disease Control is reminding people of the danger of contracting Salmonella from you backyard chicken. So far in 2016 over 600 people have contracted Salmonella from their own flocks in 45 different states.
How do people get Salmonella infections from live poultry?
Live poultry may have Salmonella germs in their droppings and on their bodies (feathers, feet, and beaks) even when they appear healthy and clean. The germs can get on cages, coops, feed and water dishes, hay, plants, and soil in the area where the birds live and roam. And germs also can get on the hands, shoes, and clothes of people who handle the birds or work or play where they live and roam.
People become infected with Salmonella when they put their hands or other things that have been in contact with live poultry in or around their mouth. Young children are more likely to get sick because their immune systems are still developing and they are more likely to put their fingers or other items into their mouths. Some people who have contact with items in the area where poultry live can become ill without actually touching one of the birds. Germs on your hands can spread easily to other people or surfaces, which is why it's important to wash hands immediately after touching poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
Reduce the chance of Salmonella infection by:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam.
- Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
- Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
- Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.
- Don't let children younger than 5 years, adults older than 65, and people with weakened immune systems handle or touch chicks, ducklings, or other live poultry.
- If you collect eggs from the hens, thoroughly cook them.
- Don't eat or drink in the area where the birds live or roam.
- Avoid kissing your birds or snuggling them, then touching your mouth.
- Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment or materials used to raise or care for live poultry, such as cages or feed or water containers.
Keeping Backyard Poultry