Last I checked snakes did not have nails. Salmonella isn't carried in saliva, so even the biggest bite wouldn't be of a threat where that is concerned. Of course, like Katt said, if you are handling an animal that has the potential to scratch you with dirty little nails, if you are at all compromised (and even if you aren't it isn't a bad idea), then proper handling equipment is a must. You can protect yourself by providing the proper information and *precautions*, but simply stating that they shouldn't handle them at all is simply misinformative and bad for the reptile's image. Less than 1% of salmonella cases are from reptiles, yet everyone is so quick to jump on them. Reptiles have enough bad publicity as is. If you aren't going to tell the whole truth, then it shouldn't be brought up at all IMHO otherwise it does more harm than good.
Originally posted by Katt
I just wanted to add, if washing hands isn't enough or not available, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer handy.
A friend of mine that owns a local piercing and tat shop had the hand sanitizer gel available from drug stores tested by and he said it wasn't a very effective means of killing bacteria. I just keep a spray bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol on hand at all times. I use this in addition to antibacterial dishsoap.