While most E. coli bacteria are completely harmless, some strains can result in the hospitalization of thousands of people each year. E. coli travels with excrement or other exposure to the gastrointestinal tract of most animals and can be abundant were animals live. Between the fields, harvesting, processing, handling, and preparing of food, the potential
In the October 2015 edition of Consumer Reports magazine, Andrea Rock’s article “How Safe is Your Beef?” discusses the many channels by which beef can become contaminated and harmful to eat if it’s not cooked properly or if it’s been more seriously contaminated in the life cycle of a cow. While there’s no equivalent to
I get asked a lot of questions about the cross-transmission of pathogens. Generally people understand that we spread germs by contacting each other, and by contacting inanimate objects that others have contacted. But beyond that, there are gaps in our common knowledge about the transmission process. Some of the confusion comes from the vast diversity
Wintertime is flu season in North America. The virus is spread from person to person, either by droplets released during coughing, sneezing, or talking, or by touching an infected surface then rubbing your eyes, ears, or lips. While timing and duration vary each year, January and February are the historical high points for influenza activity.
I found an interesting article in Science Magazine the other day. It was published in September of 2004, but personally shed new insight into survival mechanisms that microbes use when challenged with antibiotics. We hear a lot about mutation of pathogens into different drug-resistant strains. And of course we know by DNA sequencing that the