Your kitchen may harbour superbugs!
Your kitchen may be a breeding ground for multi-drug resistant bacteria, a new study has warned
After handling raw poultry, hands of food preparers and cutting boards remain a source of transmission for multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as E coli that produce extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs), researchers said.
“The spread of multi-drug 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,” said Andreas Widmer, lead author of the study.
“Our findings emphasise the importance of hand hygiene, not only after handling raw poultry, but also after contact with cutting boards used in poultry preparation,” said Widmer.
Researchers from University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland collected and examined 298 cutting boards after preparation of various meats and before being cleaned.
They also collected 20 pairs of gloves from hospital kitchen employees after they handled raw poultry.
These samples were tested for the presence of ESBL producing Enterobacteriaceae, a family of gram-negative bacteria that includes Salmonella, E coli and Klebsiella.
In testing the cutting boards, researchers found that 6.5 per cent of hospital cutting boards used in preparation of poultry were contaminated with ESBL-producing E coli.
For boards used in households, researchers found ESBL-producing E coli on 3.5 per cent of these surfaces.
They also found that 50 per cent of the hospital kitchen gloves were contaminated with this drug-resistant E coli.
The researchers found that none of the cutting boards used in preparing beef/veal, pork, lamb, game or fish were contaminated with any ESBL-producing bacteria.
They also found that the meat’s country of origin did not play a factor in the presence of bacteria on any of the surfaces.
The study was published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.