Suppertime at Lizard’s Thicket in Columbia and one of the most popular dishes is fried chicken. The summer months are usually the time of year when the most cases of salmonella are reported.

Thicket president Bobby Williams says the best way to prevent salmonella poisoning is to cook poultry enough, "We cook all our chicken to at least 170 or 175 degrees, and once we cook it, we hold it at at least 140 degrees."

They also use thermometers to determine if the meat is thoroughly cooked all the way through.

Williams also says there’s also mom’s oldest lesson, "We wash our hands constantly. You can’t make them wash their hands too much."

Williams recommends consumers thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator or microwave and not leave them out all day to thaw. “Other foods can be contaminated if you use the same fork or knife that touched raw meat,” he says. The foods most likely to contain the bacteria are poultry eggs and beef.