Salmonella in the home garden?

Photo by Lisa Norwood

An article in Scientific American speculated that bird droppings might be the source of the recent salmonella problem in peanut butter. This leaves me with some disturbing logic:

1) Birds carry salmonella
2) Birds poo in my garden


3) Bird poo in my garden could harbor salmonella!

This is not so far fetched as it sounds. A couple years ago there was an outbreak of Salmonella in wild birds in the western region of Washington state. There were warnings at the time that people could become sick from salmonella after coming in contact with bird droppings.

OK, so I doubt anyone would eat anything from their garden with bird droppings on it! But from now on I'll be sure to wash my hands after refilling bird feeders or cleaning birdbaths.