Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Hospital Food Contaminated With C. diff

C. diff in Retail Foods continued...

A 2008 CDC study concluded that "although they share similar clinical features, evidence suggests that the predominant strains causing C. diff [disease] in humans and different animal species are distinct."

Overall, though, surprisingly few studies have examined the possible link between C. diff disease in food, animals, and humans, according to both the CDC and Koo.

So the researchers tested about 2 tablespoons of each food item served over 80 days at a university hospital in Houston. The number that tested positive for C. diff:

  • Four of eight (50%) turkey samples
  • Four of 12 seafoods (33%)
  • Two of 17 beef servings (12%)
  • One of eight pork servings (13%)
  • Six of 14 chicken and egg products (43%)
  • Six of 27 vegetables and fruits (22%)
  • None of two grains
  • Three of five desserts (60%)

The researchers did not actually trace any case of illness to contaminated food, Cohen notes.

"I'm not surprised that many of the foods tested positive," he says, pointing to the studies finding C. diff in retail meats.

But whether it is causing infection is another story, Cohen says.

"It may be contributing but it is not a driving force," he says.

To be on the safe side, though, make sure your food is cooked thoroughly, as high temperatures should kill the spores, Cohen says.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing