If Sam and Nella are on your guest list you might want to be sure that your health insurance premiums are paid.  Can’t afford any of the available health plans you say?  Actually, you can’t afford NOT to have medical insurance.  A high deductible health plan will keep the health insurance premiums low and save you from medical bankruptcy. Seventy percent of U.S. bankruptcies are due to unpaid medical bills.  You were planning on leaving something for the kids, right?

OK, back to Sam and Nella.  Actually its really spelled Salmonella and it’s a big hit in the summer time.  Salmonella is a type of bacteria and is usually found in poultry, eggs, unprocessed milk (who drinks that?!), meat and water.  Water!  Yes that is why when you are visiting in some foreign countries, especially some to the south of the United States, they tell you not to drink the water.  That’s because the water is not sanitized the same way as it is here.  The folks who live there are used to it and that’s why they don’t get sick.  Trust me; you can live without ever getting Montazuma’s Revenge.

Usually, Salmonella causes food poisoning. One type causes typhoid fever but that is rare in the Western world.  Salmonella bacteria attacks the stomach and the intestines. Most of the time the symptoms are diarrhea without blood, headaches, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting and fever. Most mild cases of salmonella clear up in four to seven days without requiring any treatment other than rest and plenty of liquid.  In the

more serious cases, the bacteria may enter the lymph tracts, which carry water and protein to the blood, and the blood itself.  If that happens, you may need antibiotics and should go see your doctor.

Every year more than 76 million people get sick from food poisoning, especially during the summer, when food may not be kept cold enough to prevent bacteria from growing according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.  The University goes on to offer steps to help prevent food poisoning.  Here are some of them:

  • Wash your hands and clean any dishes or utensils when you are making or serving food.
  • Keep juices from meat, poultry, and seafood away from ready to eat foods.
  • Cook foods to proper temperatures.
  • Promptly refrigerate any food you will not be eating right away.
  • Don’t feed honey to children under 1 year of age.
  • Don’t eat wild mushrooms.