START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Fecal Bacteria In Kitchen Vs. Bathroom

With the exception of prions—the infectious agents responsible for mad cow disease that can survive incineration at temperatures hot enough to melt lead—all viral, fungal, and bacterial pathogens in our food supply can be killed through proper cooking. Why then do tens of millions of Americans come down with food poisoning every year? Cross-contamination is thought to account for the bulk of infections. For example, retail chicken is so covered in bacteria that researchers at the University of Arizona found more fecal bacteria in the kitchen–on sponges, dishtowels, and in the sink drain–than they found swabbing the toilet. In a meat-eating family’s house, it may be safer to lick the rim of the toilet seat than the kitchen countertop because people aren’t preparing chickens in their toilets. I profile that study in today’s NutritionFacts.org video pick above.

For more on sushi safety see Allergenic Fish Worms; for more on poultry, Fecal Residues on Chicken and Chicken Out of UTIs; and for more on fecal contamination of the meat supply in general see Fecal Bacteria Survey, which I profiled in my Care2 Post on Wednesday: E. Coli O145 Ban Opposed by Meat Industry.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: Gerard Stolk (vers le Santiago) / Flickr

 

Related:
Mad Fish Disease
Pork Tapeworms in the Brain
MRSA Superbugs in U.S. Retail Meat

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Food, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Videos, Videos, , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Dr. Michael Greger

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available at NutritionFacts.org.

134 comments

+ add your own
4:51AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

Yuck.

5:32PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

yuck

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Sorry Google Chrome, was not your fault. (From an earlier comment, way down).

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Keeping things reasonably clean goes a long way in preventing problems, but since most people have some idea about cleanliness and cross contamination on the cutting boards, that usually isn't a worry not to mention hand washing after using the facilities especially if you are about to prepare dinner.

The last thing I ever worry about is mad cow disease, have eaten beef for decades with no problems like millions of others. More people die from mosquito bites and malaria than mad cow. People wishing to avoid beef full of hormones/antibiotics in can buy organic, same goes for veggies sprayed with toxins.

The bacteria monster has been around since primordial times, it will be around long after mankind has exited stage left.

Now breathe and BBQ your steak...or your delightful portobello mushrooms and grilled red bell peppers, enjoy the bonfire as you roast a few sugar laden marshmallows and the starry sky.

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Nothing new. Bacteria is everywhere even when our ancestors lived on the farm milking cows or goats walking, grew veggies with animal manure, ate with their hands in the days before the knife and fork.

All people have to do is take care when preparing foods. Keep cutting boards clean, don't use the same cutting board that you cut meat on for veggies. Use one designated for meats only, the other for veggies, fruit. You can have a number of boards.

Clean the area well when done and if one is really terrified of bacterial cooties clean the sink first and cut the meat on a plate inside the sink. Or is one is petrified because bagged spinach was recalled for food poisoning a few times wash it in a colander in the sink.

Bacteria is part of our lives since the dawn of time, it will always be with us unless we evolve into beings of pure energy. If you change your baby's diapers, be sure to wash your hands well before preparing the sushi, lettuce or hamburger...but we all know that.

Some fail to practice this even some doctors and nurses caring for patients and we end up in the hospital catching a super bug.

Yes, chickens and some meats crawl in bacteria but if one is "chicken", buy organic meat. Better for you anyway with all the growth hormones /antibiotics. Organic for veggies and fruits if you can get it.

Bacteria proliferate everywhere. At home you can at least control some of it but not while eating out but we have to live.

Toilets sans lids? Fascin

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Oops, went over time! Rah, rah! Continuing with comment below:

Toilet sans lids. Fascinating, have never met one of these intriguing creatures. Hmmm, guess they have even more bacteria dancing about. Sounds like an undressed toilet to me, ask it to put the lid on and be decent!

Some bacteria of course are friendly beasties such as some of them in our digestive systems. If you have recently taken antibiotics for something then a lot of these good bacteria will have been killed off and eating a good yogurt for awhile (not a lot of the sugary stuff) will restore the happy bacteria that the antibiotics got rid of. Yogurt is good for your system!

Yes, bacteria are a feisty lot and some of them are most annoying and dangerous...but this is a world filled with the little critters. Being cautious and careful with meal preparation and clean up goes a long way to ending some of their miserable lives. Then you can enjoy your meal in peace, be it spinach and quinoa or roast chicken.

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

WARNING, ALL CARE2 MEMBERS TAKE NOTE!


All Care2 members take note-I just typed a comment and on one of them a word 'restore' is outlined in blue--so is the word restore--it takes one to a site for some website--I did not put this here--go back and check your comments and if this happens to you flag it it and make Care2 aware of this. Have never seen this done to my own comment before - how is someone else gaining access and blue lining what I typed. I will also do a full computer scan to see if I have a virus, but shouldn't have one.

Am now notifying Care2 as to what is going on. Keep an eye open on your comments!
Recently changed my theme on Google Chrome....

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

The blue underlining and lettering on the word restore is now gone.

The website it took me to is advertising, I cannot get it off my screen.

This is the first time I have encountered this problem and am posting it to the Care2 group Need Help In Care2? discussion theme: General Site Issues and Queries ~ 9

It is possible that it was visible only on my computer as I was changing themes on Google Chrome but I have no idea of what happened.

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

CAUTION-I HAVE FLAGGED CARE2 TECH SUPPORT IN THIS MATTER-CARE2 IS BEING NOTIFIED BY ME -CAUTION DO NOT CLICK ON ANY WORD/S LETTERED IN BLUE THAT IS/ARE UNDERLINED-THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON AND I AM NOT THE ONE PUTTING WORDS LINKING TO ANY SITE. Am not sure if this is visible to only me or to others.

This blue word thing now happens no matter where I go on the Care2 site. May well be linked to a theme change in Google Chrome. I will now paste this warning above any comments on Care2 articles and avoid going to my other sites until finding out what this thing is!

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

CAUTION-CARE2 NOTIFIED BY ME - DON'T CLICK ON ANY WORD IF IT APPEARS LETTERED IN BLUE THAT IS UNDERLINED-SOMETHING GOING ON/AM NOT THE ONE PUTTING WORDS LINKING TO ANY SITE.

Balance in everything is key. Slamming the Add Comment button 45 times in responding to me?

I get organic meat not factory farm meat.

Not a huge number of mad cow disease cases in millions of people or tons would be dropping like flies. If I get it, well I will die of something anyway, won't worry needlessly.

You can also get fecal bacteria from any person prepping your food at a restaurant that hasn't properly washed their hands after a bathroom break...even preparing dandelion salad.

Avoid factory farm crud be it meat or veggies (chemicals on veggies not organically grown) and relax, we all die from something. Just breathe, avoid eating factory farm and eat what you want.

Care2 comments are not visible lately. Hit Add comment once, it will show up. Later perhaps, but each time the button is hit that is the number of comments you get. We can read it once.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I'd rather eat the stewed tomatoes :) Thanks for the article.

i agree Biotin an vitamins help, I like using a natural topical too like Biotopic#6. Treat the probl…

I love the infographic about growing vegetables, fun to look at and I especially like the companion …

Barbara stated, "It troubles me when people throw out vague warnings about soy without having facts …

Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.