Can you boil away salmonella

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Can you boil away Salmonella?” We will also discuss How you can get infected by Salmonella bacteria, what are the most common symptoms of such infection and the preventative actions to avoid it.

Can you boil away Salmonella?

Yes, you can boil away Salmonella.

Salmonella spp. is resistant up to 72 ºC (32 ºF) and temperatures above this allow the inactivation of this bacterium (1). Therefore, subjecting food to boiling allows the removal of Salmonella.

Can Salmonella be detected in food?

Yes, Salmonella can be detected in food through various laboratory methods. Enrichment and isolation steps, which involve culture techniques, are utilized to concentrate and separate Salmonella bacteria from food samples. Identification employs biochemical characterization techniques to determine specific properties of the isolated bacteria. Serotyping, an immunological technique, is utilized to classify Salmonella strains based on their antigenic properties (10,11)

In addition to these techniques, other methods like polymerase chain reaction (PCR), immunoassays, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) can also be employed for Salmonella detection in food samples (12,13).

While it is not possible for individuals to visually identify Salmonella in food, some signs may indicate the presence of contaminated food. However, it’s important to note that these signs are not definitive and may not always be present. These signs are common in the presence of other microorganisms.

Some of the warning signs indicating compromised food quality include an unpleasant odor, unusual taste, altered texture, and visible signs of deterioration such as mold, discoloration, or unusual texture (14).

It is crucial to remember that Salmonella can be present in contaminated food without any visible signs.

What are the sources of Salmonella?

There are numerous sources of Salmonella, which can cause salmonellosis.

Salmonella spp. is typically transmitted to humans through the ingestion of contaminated food items, including eggs, raw meat, undercooked poultry (such as chicken or turkey), unpasteurized milk, and even through contact with infected animals.

Other foods, such as green vegetables, fruits, and shellfish, can also become contaminated if they come into contact with animal sources or fecal matter. For instance, the use of manure as a soil amendment or the presence of sewage in water can contribute to contamination. While person-to-person transmission of Salmonella can occur, particularly in healthcare settings, there is also a risk of transmission between veterinarians, farm workers, and animals on farms (2,3).

What are the symptoms commonly associated with salmonellosis?

The symptoms of the ingestion of food contaminated are headache, fever, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms can last for several days or even weeks (4).

Is a Salmonella infection considered harmful?

Indeed, Salmonella can pose a significant health risk. Contracting a Salmonella infection can be hazardous as it can range from mild intestinal symptoms to potentially life-threatening conditions such as septicemia, which can lead to fatalities (5).

Specific individuals are at a higher risk of developing severe illness from Salmonella food poisoning. This includes pregnant women, young children, adults over 60 years of age, and individuals with weakened immune systems. These vulnerable groups may have a reduced ability to fight off infections, increasing their susceptibility to serious complications (2,6).

Are there any limitations of boiling for Salmonella removal?

Yes, there are limitations of boiling to Salmonella removal.

For example, the coagulation temperatures of the egg white and yolk differ. If the eggs were left half-cooked or they did not reach their safe internal temperature, the eggs could potentially be a carrier of Salmonella (7). Hard-boiled eggs have a minimal risk of microbial contamination, while medium and particularly soft-boiled eggs pose a potential risk for salmonellosis (8). You should be sure that the whole egg is boiled.

Inadequately cooked ground beef can significantly contribute to the occurrence of salmonellosis, a foodborne illness caused by Salmonella. It is crucial to ensure that minced beef steaks are cooked thoroughly to eliminate any potential bacteria (9).

What is the requirement to eliminate Salmonella?

The requirement to eliminate Salmonella is to ensure that all food reaches at least the temperature to which Salmonella is sensible.

To guarantee the effective elimination of Salmonella, it is essential to boil food thoroughly, reaching a minimum temperature of about 71 °C (160 °F) (7).

A study has shown that time is also relevant to ensure the elimination of Salmonella. According to the authors, the minimum time necessary to eliminate contamination with the cooking procedure is 5 minutes after boiling the water, and cooking in the microwave oven eliminates bacterial contamination (8).

Other FAQs about Salmonella that you may be interested in.

What are the chances of getting Salmonella from raw eggs?

Does freezing eggs kill Salmonella?

Can you cook away Salmonella?

Can beef give you Salmonella?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Can you boil away Salmonella?” We also discussed the sources of Salmonella bacteria, and what are the most common symptoms of such infection.


1. Smelt JPPM, Brul S. Thermal inactivation of microorganisms. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2014 Jan;54(10):1371–85.

2. Salmonella [Internet]. Food Standards Agency. 2018 [cited 2023 Jun 27]. Available from:

3. Shinohara NKS, Barros VB de, Jimenez SMC, Machado E de CL, Dutra RAF, Lima Filho JL de. Salmonella spp., importante agente patogênico veiculado em alimentos. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva. 2008 Oct;13(5):1675–83.

4. Knodler LA, Elfenbein JR. Salmonella enterica. Trends in Microbiology. 2019 Nov;27(11):964–5.

5. Alexandro O V B, Silva R A, Araújo A, Brandão P A, Silva F B. Padrões microbiológicos da carne de frango de corte – referencial teórico. Revista Verde de Agroecologia e Desenvolvimento Sustentável. 2011;6(3).

6. Queensland Health. Food safety—Salmonella-Egg safety for the consumer [Internet]. Queensland Government. [cited 2023 Jun 27]. Available from:

7. Cardoso MJ, Nicolau AI, Borda D, Nielsen L, Maia RL, Møretrø T, et al. Salmonella in eggs: From shopping to consumption—A review providing an evidence‐based analysis of risk factors. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2021 May;20(3):2716–41.

8. Savi GD, Bortolotto T, Simões LR, Barichello T. Elimination of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in artificially contaminated eggs through correct cooking and frying procedures. Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos. 2011 Jun;31(2):492–6.

9. Boschi T, Aquilini D, Degl’Innocenti R, Aleo A, Romani C, Nicoletti P, et al. Cluster of Cases of Salmonella enterica Serotype Rissen Infection in a General Hospital, Italy, 2007. Zoonoses and Public Health. 2009 Nov 13;57(7–8):518–22.

10. Tietjen M, Fung DYC. Salmonellae and Food Safety. Critical Reviews in Microbiology. 1995 Jan;21(1):53–83.

11. Khalil ah AK. Food Microbiology: A Laboratory Manual. Wiley-Intenrscience; 2007.

12. Ibrahim GM, Morin PM. Salmonella Serotyping Using Whole Genome Sequencing. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2018 Dec 13;9.     

13. Cheung PY, Kam KM. Salmonella in food surveillance: PCR, immunoassays, and other rapid detection and quantification methods. Food Research International. 2012 Mar;45(2):802–8.     

14. Perera C. Selected Quality Attributes of Dried Foods. Drying Technology. 2005 Apr 1;23(4):717–30.     

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!