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Kitchen Cutting Boards Can Harbor Drug-Resistant Germs: Study

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

Kitchen Cutting Boards Can Harbor Drug-Resistant Germs: Study

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.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about antibiotic resistance.

SOURCE: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, news release, April 8, 2014

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