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Bladder Health

Ecoli Cross-Contamination

Ecoli Cross-Contamination from the storage and prepration of chicken

E-Coli is the most common cause of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). However, it was only recently found by genetically fingerprinting the E-Coli from infections that it showed strong genetic similarities to the strains found in abattoir slaughtered chickens indicating that the infection is likely to be coming cross-contamination in the storage and preparation of chicken as food. Worse still, many of these E-Coli strains have developed antibiotic resistance due to the excessive use of these drugs in factory-farming so may well be responsible for resistant infections that are making sufferers’ lives a misery. Antibiotics have been used for a long time in farming to help quickly increase the weight of chickens and to treat the effects of cramped conditions.

E.coli O157:H7 can produce a harmful toxin that causes bloody diarrhoea, and is considered a very serious condition in particular if the elderly or young are affected. This strain can damage red blood cells, the kidneys and other organs. In ten per cent of children, E. coli infection leads to Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which is one of the leading causes of acute kidney failure in children. The spinach and sprout scares do actually disguise the real problem and if you were able to trace them back, have almost certainly had their origin in the gut of a goat, a sheep, a cow, a pig or a dog, faecal contaminated soil and water etc.

E.coli is difficult to avoid. It is everywhere, ending up on handles, desks, floors etc. and Ecoli is now showing signs of superbug status in the community with the most likely cause being bacterial resistance as a result of overuse in an agricultural context.

Recently the Telegraph reported that "Two in three chickens sold in British supermarkets are 'infected with E.coli superbug'" (Source), highlighting the risks involved when handling raw meat.

bladder inflammation
Roast chicken is a favourite Sunday tradition in UK, however there are risks involved when handling raw meat.

How to Reduce the Risks Associated with Chicken

  • When you buy chicken, immediately put it in a bag so that the juices do not contaminate other foods in your shopping
  • Chicken should be kept cold as bacteria thrive in warm conditions. Keep your fridge temperature at 5°C or below.
  • In order to defrost frozen chicken, put it in a sealed container on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that it does not drip onto other foods.
  • Throw chicken away if it has been at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Do not let raw chicken come into contact with any raw foods such as salad/vegetables.
  • Before and immediately after preparing chicken, wash your hands thoroughly in soapy water. Wash palms, between fingers, in fingernails, wrists, thumbs and backs of hands.
  • Surfaces, taps, chopping boards, cooking utensils, door handles should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination. Studies have shown that even after bleaching all items that the raw chicken has been in contact with, harmful bacteria can still be present.
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