Biggest E. Coli Risk Is in the Restroom Rather Than the Kitchen

Study finds main cause of bacterial illness is not tainted food

October 28, 2019

If you thought eating undercooked or contaminated food was the most likely way to contract E. coli, you’d be wrong. A new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal found that people who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom are a bigger cause of the spread of antibiotic-resistant E. coli than eating undercooked meat.

E. coli has become more antibiotic resistant over the past 20 years. Scientists have found that strains of the disease with Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs), which destroy penicillin and other antibiotics, are most commonly transmitted from human to human, with fecal particles from one person reaching the mouth of another.

The study researchers analyzed 20,000 fecal samples and hundreds of blood samples. They found that the ESBL ST131 strain, which dwells in human guts and can cause serious infections, dominated in the human blood, sewage and fecal samples. Strains without ESBLs were more commonly found in animal meat and slurry, which is a mixture of particles, including manure, in water.

Although the great majority of ESBL-E coli strains causing human infections aren’t coming from eating chicken, lettuce, or any other food, the researchers cautioned that people should still practice food handling safety by cooking chicken well and keeping raw meat and vegetables separated. However, the most important thing people can do to avoid E. coli is to keep restrooms clean and always wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet.

Latest Articles

Workplace Safety
May 29, 2020 Matt Hayas

4 Workplace Safety Strategies for Cleaning Professionals

May 22, 2020 Amy W. Richardson

Robots to the Rescue

May 18, 2020 Robert Kravitz

Exploring a New but Dusty Add-On Service

Sponsored Articles

2020 CMM Carpet Care Webinar
April 20, 2020 Sponsored by SoftBank Robotics

2020 CMM Carpet Care Webinar: The Right Match

April 9, 2020 Sponsored by Spartan Chemical Company

Hand Hygiene: Compliance Reduces Spread of Disease

March 19, 2020 Sponsored by Hydro Systems Co

Dispensing Cleanliness During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Recent News

Registration Now Open for ISSA Show North America 2020
May 28, 2020 CMM Daily News

Registration Now Open for ISSA Show North America 2020

May 28, 2020 CMM Daily News

COVID-19 Update: Don’t Forget to Check Your Facility’s Water

May 28, 2020 CMM Daily News

Video Offers Details on the GBAC Star Accreditation