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article imageMost raw chicken in hospitals contains pathogenic bacteria

By Tim Sandle     Apr 6, 2014 in Health
More than 80% of raw chicken samples tested in a hospital kitchen tested positive for antibiotic resistant bacteria, according to a recent study.
To examine chickens ready to be cooked in hospital kitchens in the U.S., scientists obtained raw and prepared food samples from the hospital kitchen as well as samples from local supermarkets to serve as a comparator group.
The website FPB notes that after determining the strains found on the food and in the food handlers, they compared those strains with those identified from a random sample of patients at the hospital who were positive for the same pathogens.
Commenting on the findings, Andrew Stewardson, MD, of the University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland, said in a research note: “While a high proportion of chicken contaminated by antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli is a significant concern, robust food safety measures taken by hospital kitchen staff are able to prevent the spread of these pathogens and minimize risk to food handlers, staff and patients.”
In addition to the infected chickens, six of 93 food handlers were identified as carriers. This means that even if practices improved, the behaviour of some of the food handlers is questionable.
The findings were reported to the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The report is titled “Extended-Spectrum b-Lactamase–Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Hospital Food: A Risk Assessment”.
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