Have you or a loved one been in a hospital recently? Well, there is something very important everyone should know about hospital food. Researchers sampled the food from 100 different plates at a hospital and found that one-quarter of the samples were contaminated with C-diff.
C-diff (C-difficle) is a bacterium that causes intestinal problems, such as diarrhea, however, can also be extremely serious causing life-threatening intestinal illnesses. C-diff has become a large problem across the world and in the United States and is usually caused due to the body reaction to antibiotics. The antibiotics kill of the good bacteria in your body allowing C-diff bacteria to take over. C-diff is extremely common in hospitals and is passed through feces but spreads easily to surfaces and objects. There are approximately 500,000 cases of C-diff every year in the United States and approximately 14,000 deaths linked to C-diff every year.
This study was only performed at one hospital in Houston; however, it is significant in the search to discover how C-diff continues to spread through hospitals. The majority of the food samples that tested positive for C-diff were cooked. Some of the food contaminated was turkey, chicken, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
The researchers found that it is likely that the temperatures at which these foods are cooked are too low, and do not kill the C-diff bacteria in the cooking process. The researchers are unsure whether the C-diff found in food is likely to have the effect on the human body that the bacteria is known to have when passed by person to person contact. It is also noted that the researchers were unable to trace any of C-diff food in the hospital’s food to a person’s illness.
More research must be done on whether C-diff in food is causing illness in people, however, it interesting to know that it could be in your food while you are in the hospital. Everyone must be careful of what they are consuming in hospitals and try to avoid the foods that tested positive in this study or as one infectious disease specialist said to make sure the food you consume is cooked at a high temperature.
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