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Kitchen Cutting Boards and Drug-Resistant Germs

Poultry prep linked to E. coli found on food equipment in homes, hospitals

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 10, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Kitchen cutting boards can become contaminated with drug-resistant germs, a new study shows.

Swiss researchers analyzed 154 cutting boards from University Hospital in Basel and 144 cutting boards from private homes after they were used to prepare poultry, pork, beef/veal, lamb, game or fish.

The results showed that 6.5 percent of the hospital cutting boards and 3.5 percent of the household cutting boards used to prepare poultry were contaminated with multidrug-resistant E. coli bacteria. None of the cutting boards used to prepare the other meat and fish were contaminated with drug-resistant bacteria.

The researchers also tested 20 pairs of gloves from hospital kitchen workers after they prepared poultry, and found that 50 percent of the gloves were contaminated with multidrug-resistant E. coli.

The study appears in the May issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

"The spread of multidrug-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," study author Dr. Andreas Widmer said in a journal news 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," he added.

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