Ladies and germs, you can wash your hands and refuse to touch the bathroom handle at work without a paper towel as often as you want, but you might be cradling a veritable incubator of bacteria right up to your face all day long anyway. Those warm little constant companions of ours, smartphones, could be spreading bugs nobody wants. [More]
Those who live in 14,000-strong Greendale, Wis. have to make like campers sustaining themselves from a creek and boil all their water until further notice. The town’s officials said in a statement that coliform bacteria were found in the water supply last week, and the tap water is no longer good for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing hands. [More]
A new study claims that not only does half the meat sold in groceries harbor a nasty little bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, but a full quarter of the beef, chicken, pork and turkey carries a drug-resistant strain of the bug. [More]
In my household, there’s an ongoing argument about whether bagged salad can be eaten straight from the bag, or whether it should be washed first, or why did we buy this bag of salad instead of more beer. When not championing beer, I’ve always come down on the don’t-bother-washing side, but I might finally agree to change my food prep habits after this recent Consumer Reports study that says 39% of bagged salads are contaminated with bacteria. [More]
Netflix DVDs and their envelopes pass from hand to hand, and from home to home, with all sorts of interesting opportunities for contamination. What sorts of bacteria are on them? A Texas local news team set out to find out and discovered…well, not much of anything likely to kill you. Sorry to disappoint. [More]
Turtles remain a popular pet with kids. In 1975 the U.S. banned the sale of ones smaller than 4 inches, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates almost 2 million were being kept as pets as of 2006. They’re also responsible for one of the slowest outbreaks of salmonella we’ve seen in recent years.
Concerned about bacterial contamination, Tylenol is recalling certain children’s liquid medication products manufactured during a certain period in 2008. While the risk of infection is low when the medicines are ingested, still: eww, bacteria.
The class-action lawsuit against Dannon alleging false advertising of their Activia and DanActive products has finally been settled. As you may recall (but probably don’t), the suit was filed back in January 2008, and accused the company of advertising yogurt-induced health benefits that may or may not actually exist.
As if skin cancer, rip tides, and sharks weren’t enough to worry about at the beach. A University of Washington study found the antibiotic-resistant superbug methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA to its friends) in the water of many different Puget Sound beaches.
Back in June, the FDA sounded an alarm about potentially bacteria-laden Clarcon products, including some anti-bacterial lotions meant to be applied to open wounds. They urged the public not to use Clarcon products while Clarcon addressed the matter. Apparently Clarcon didn’t do enough, though, because this past weekend U.S. Marshals “seized all skin sanitizers and skin protectants, including ingredients and components, at Clarcon Biological Chemistry Laboratory’s facility in Roy, Utah.”
Clarcon manufactures skin protectants and sanitizers marketed under several different brand names, including CitruShield, Dermassentials, Magic Touch, and Pure Effect. …One such product, Magic Touch, is marketed as a lotion, an antibacterial, an antibiotic, and a germicide that is “great to apply open wounds because it helps heal the skin without scars.”
Gourmet Boutique, of Queens, NY is recalling 286,000 lbs of possibly contaminated meat used in sandwich wraps and other ready-to-eat products, says the USDA. This is the second recall of this type for the company. In March they recalled 7,000 lbs of meat for possible listeria contamination.
The slightly alarmist HealthInspections.com has a story about dirty lemon wedges in restaurants—apparently they’re a “witch’s brew of bacteria,” to use the hilariously over-the-top language of the video narrator, who speaks in a parody of a newscaster voice. Our favorite trick of theirs: overlaying gigantic bacteria animations on everyday objects, as you can see in this screen capture. But anyway, the point is a microbiologist from New Jersey found various bacteria on three quarters of the lemons she tested from 21 different restaurants: “The very first sample that we took was loaded with fecal bacteria.”
California dairies are bristling under regulations that limit the amount of yucky coliform bacteria allowed in raw milk. The new health standards set a maximum of 10 coliforms per milliliter, which upsets Mark McAfee, the founder of California’s largest raw milk dairy. According to McAfee, “There’s quite a ruckus right now.” Let’s see how he frames the issue.
Seattle shoppers want to know why the FDA won’t investigate bioluminescent shrimp appearing at local Thriftways and Quality Food Centers.
The FDA has issued a warning not to eat raw oysters from the southern tip of Hood Canal in Washington state. Oysters from the Hood Canal have been linked to an outbreak of vibriosis, a rare illness caused by the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria.