It sound like you have a baseless hangup on your hands. Do you know how many people own cats and have children together? Who ever heard of kids getting sick from cats? The only time I know it can happen is if a pregnant woman cleans the catbox when she's pregnant, she can get toxoplasmosis (if the cat has it). Well, you're not preggo, right? If you were to be in the future, make sure your hubby cleans it, in case you didn't know that.
I have known way too many kids who have played in dirty catboxes and don't get sick or anything. You know that, in general, humans have e.coli in their bodies, right? It's a bacteria that we live with- our bodies are made to fight germs and even keep some around for a while, with no harm done. The "E. Coli scares" happen when a certain strain of it gets into a food source, usually.
Found this website...http://people.ku.edu/~jbrown/ecoli.html
Some things said on the site were these...
"... in a newborn infant's intestines E. coli, along with lactobacilli and enterococci represent the most abundant bacterial flora." and
"The presence of E. coli and other kinds of bacteria within our intestines is necessary for us to develop and operate properly, and for us to remain healthy - E. coli, along with other species of bacteria, provide us with many necessary vitamins for example. The bacteria make the vitamins, and we gladly absorb them. We pretty much depend upon E. coli in our intestines for our source of Vitamin K and B-complex vitamins."
It would appear that the only time you're going to have salmonella around your cat food is if it's being recalled because of it. You would hear about it in the news or something and your baby doesn't eat out of the cat food bowl or anything, right?
I really don't see anything to worry about. I have two cats, who's feeding areas and litter boxes are in places where children can't get to them, but that's only because I don't want kids playing in the cat boxes, really (well, and the dogs will eat the stuff). I have one son and have nannied many children here and have had a lot of playdates, etc. There are always kids around my house- no child has ever gotten sick from the cats- I don't even know if it's really possible. Are these rumors you're hearing or factual evidence?
Hope I don't sound harsh- I just wanted you to see how baseless this fear is so you can get past it and relax and enjoy your kitties and your children.