Wash Hands and Cutting Boards after Raw Poultry Preparation: Study


Researchers from the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, emphasized that people should wash hands and cutting boards once they finish handling raw poultry. In a latest study, researchers found that cutting boards at homes and hospitals and gloves from medical centres, are sources of multi-drug resistant bacteria like E. coli that produce Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs).

For the study, researchers tested 64 cutting boards from the University Hospital and 62 from households before and after they were used in preparation of meat including poultry, beef and veal, pork, fish and lamb. About 20 gloves used by hospital kitchen employees for poultry were also examined.

The researchers found that 6.5 percent of the hospital cutting boards and 3.5 percent of the home cutting boards tested positive for ESBL-producing E. coli. Plus, half of the gloves checked in the study were contaminated with the bacteria.

"The spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria has been associated with the hospital setting, but these findings suggest that transmission of drug-resistant E. coli occurs both in the hospital and households," Andreas Widmer, MD, lead author of the study, said in a press release. "Our findings emphasize the importance of hand hygiene, not only after handling raw poultry, but also after contact with cutting boards used in poultry preparation."

Poultry is not the only source of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

 A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that leafy greens and spinach are the leading source of food poisoning. Researchers discovered that about 1 in 5 illnesses are caused due to leafy green vegetables compared to other types of food.

 The study also found that contaminated poultry makes people sick. According to CDC, one in six Americans (48 million people) fall ill due to food poisoning every year that includes 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

"Most meals are safe," said Dr. Patricia Griffin, a government researcher and one of the study's authors, Huffington Post reports.  Griffin further said that the finding shouldn't stop people from eating green leafy vegetables. Experts advise people to either wash the veggies or cook them thoroughly.

The finding is published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

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