A new study found that people who eat more than three meals a day are more likely to get salmonellosis, a serious bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhea and pneumonia.
The new study, published online Tuesday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, involved 2,093 adults who ate five or more meals a week for five consecutive days.
Researchers found that the more people ate, the more likely they were to develop salmonello infections.
The study did not look at the impact of the food on the person’s immune system or other health factors.
“It was not an apples-to-apples comparison of eating patterns,” Dr. Jonathan Lott, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, told NBC News.
“But what it does show is that people with higher food intake tend to have more salmonecosis.”
“What we’re seeing in the salmonecoepidemiology study is a significant increase in people eating more than five meals a night, and there’s a greater likelihood of getting salisymic, which is a potentially very serious infection,” Lott added.
“The fact that we see that we’re not only eating more meals but eating them in more ways suggests there’s something going on that’s going to have an impact on the gut.”
The study found an association between food intake and increased risk of salmonecaemia.
The researchers also looked at a separate set of data from the Food and Drug Administration that showed people who ate at least one meal a day had a 50 percent lower risk of developing salmoneillosis.
“If we want to reduce the risk of food-borne illness, it’s important to be mindful of what foods you eat and how you prepare them,” Litt said.
“And, when we’re cooking meals and preparing them, we should also be aware of the potential effects of what’s in them.”
The findings highlight the importance of making sure your meals are cooked correctly, said Dr. Joseph P. Nisbet, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic and an expert on the health effects of eating out.
“I would like to see this study replicated in other countries, and I think the CDC is doing it with some of these very important, high-quality studies,” Nisbert said.
He added that there are some ways to reduce your exposure to salmonebacteria and prevent it from being transferred to your food.
“We’re seeing that we can improve food safety in the United States,” he said.
Nisbet also pointed out that food companies can take measures to reduce their risk of transmitting salmonecus to their consumers.
In a statement, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act states that companies that sell foods or chemicals to the U.S. must test for salmonecemia when they import foods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people not share their food, or any utensils, with anyone under 21.
The Food and Nutrition Board also advises that people avoid sharing any fruits and vegetables, meats and poultry, eggs and dairy products, and seafood.
Nisa Nourdani, a spokeswoman for the CDC, told ABC News that there is no safe limit for sali-meal consumption.
She said sali is a foodborne pathogen, which means that there’s an increased risk that it can be passed to others.
“There are some precautions you can take,” Nourdin said.