Many Americans Engage in Unsanitary Cooking Practices, Survey Finds

As millions of Americans dust off their cookbooks and browse recipe websites to prepare festive holiday meals, a new survey reveals that 1 in 3 Americans is concerned about getting food poisoning due to someone else’s poor kitchen hygiene. The survey found that concern is warranted, as many home cooks engage in bad hygiene and

Flu Season Survival Tips

The World Health Organization calls flu, also known as seasonal influenza, “one of the world’s greatest public health challenges.” Every year approximately one billion people around the world are infected with the seasonal flu virus, and three to five million of those cases are severe, resulting in 290,000 – 650,000 flu-related respiratory deaths. The severity of each flu season is difficult to predict, so the public is encouraged to be aware and prepared. Here are our best tips to help you survive flu season.

How to Sanitize and Disinfect Surfaces in Childcare Environments

Childcare environments are notorious for spreading infections. Parents can teach children to wash their hands, cover coughs and sneezes (with a tissue or their elbows, not their hands), and keep hands out of their mouths and eyes to help prevent them from getting or spreading an infectious illness. (See, for example, this CDC cartoon video.) Unfortunately, these lessons cannot be taught to babies and very young toddlers. 

Chlorinated Chickens and Food Safety

UK “Brexit” discussions are sprinkled with speculation about allowing imports of “chlorinated chicken” from the US under a potential revised trade agreement. What is chlorinated chicken and why is the topic so controversial? According to the National Chicken Council (NCC), a “chlorinated chicken” is a chlorine-washed chicken, one that has been rinsed with chlorinated water.

Shameful Scam: Drinking Sodium Chlorite Products as a Cure for Autism

Can drinking a chlorine dioxide bleach solution cure children of autism? There is no evidence that it can. Parents of autistic children, however, are being targeted by deceptive online ads for “Miracle Mineral Solution,” “Master Mineral Solution,” and similar products marketed with false claims of curing autism. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recent warning about these products, noting that ingesting them has made consumers sick and can even lead to death.

Back to School: How to Help Prevent the Spread of Germs in the Classroom

As students return to the classroom with brand-new backpacks and high hopes for a good academic year, an invisible army of microbes is preparing an attack on the little learners. Legions of cold and flu viruses are determined to circulate through the “student body” in a show of force that will make school PTA newsletter

Sanitizing Food-contact Surfaces with Bleach Solutions in Restaurants and Institutions

Although the U.S. food supply is generally considered to be safe, foodborne illnesses continue to take a toll in our country. Nearly every month we hear of a food-related illness outbreak or recall, prompting a mental check of whether we might have purchased the offending product, consumed it, or stored it in our kitchens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) National Outbreak Reporting System, in the 17-year period from 2000 to 2017, over 18,000 foodborne outbreaks were reported, involving more than 350,000 cases (approximately one per 1,000 people in the U.S.) of illness, over 15,000 hospitalizations, and nearly 350 deaths from consuming unsafe foods. Moreover, these numbers likely underreport the actual U.S. statistics as CDC estimates that each year, 48 million people experience foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. 

Honoring Water Quality & Health Member Barbara M. Soule

Our friend and colleague, Ms. Barbara M. Soule, was recognized for her extraordinary career in infection prevention and control during the 2019 Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) annual meeting in Philadelphia. The Liberty View Event Center, with its perfect view of Independence Hall, was the special setting for the June 13, 2019 festivities. The event marked Ms. Soule’s upcoming retirement at the end of 2019 as a consultant for Joint Commission Resources and Joint Commission International. As part of the evening program, Ms. Soule was interviewed on topics including highlights of her career, lessons learned, and the future of the field of infection prevention and control.

Health Tips for Summer Vacationers: How to Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

While the colder months are more known as the time when contagious illnesses like the flu and norovirus are widespread, summer travel can lead to sickness if you’re not careful! Thousands of people visit rest stops or take planes or trains for vacation – it takes just one infected person to turn these spots into breeding zones for pathogens (disease-causing germs). So what do you need to know about summer illnesses?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22-64% of travelers to developing countries report travel-related health problems. Thankfully most illnesses are mild- but many of the infections travelers report only become apparent after their return home. Whether you get sick at the beginning or end of a trip, or sometime in between, illness can put a damper on the entire experience. 

Candida auris Infections: What You Need to Know about This Growing Global Health Threat

A drug-resistant fungus originally identified in the ear of an elderly woman in Japan in 2009 is raising global health concerns. Candida auris, or “C. auris” (“auris” is Latin for “ear”), is a yeast that is considered an “emerging” pathogen because of rising numbers of infections reported around the globe. C. auris infections are common in medical centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities among people who are already ill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly half of all people who contract the fungal disease die within 90 days. CDC tracks C. auris cases reported in the U.S.