December 14, 2018

Watch: Husband Describes Wife’s Death From Salmonella Poisoning

In 2010, Milton and Zella Ploghoft and their son, Philip, celebrated Mother’s Day, at their favorite restaurant. Zella and Philip contracted Salmonella poisoning from a meal they shared. Philip recovered, but Zella did not. Almost three years later, MIlton describes his wife’s illness and death in a video from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To watch the video, or to see other videos about food poisoning victims click here.

Hospital SceneSalmonella, the second leading cause of foodborne illness in the U.S., is the leading cause of food-related hospitalization and death, according to the FDA. Thousands of Americans are sickened in these types of outbreaks every year. More than 370 Americans die from Salmonella poisoning, called salmonellosis,  every year. About half of all foodborne illness outbreaks are linked to restaurants, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Zella and Philip were among 56 people who were sickened a Salmonella outbreak linked to food served at a restaurant.

Zella was so sick the morning after the meal, that Milton called 911. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital.“The illness of Salmonella food poisoning is terribly, terribly painful,” said Milton. The family visited her there each day of her seven-week stay. The medical bills were more than $100,000.

Zella and Philip were served food that was not cooked and held at a proper temperature. “Part of the frustration with food poisoning is that you know that it didn’t have to happen,” Milton says. The video ends with recommendations to restaurants and food handlers. They include: wash your hands and food contact surfaces with soap and water frequently, stay home from work or school if you are sick, don’t touch ready-to-eat food with bare hands, separate raw meats form other foods, cook and hold food to the proper temperature and cool and  store it promptly and properly.

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