While thoroughly cooking meat and washing vegetables and hands after food preparation can prevent E. coli infection, treatment for the severe stomach bug can be difficult, as antibiotics are known to make the disease worse by releasing a potent toxin into the infected person’s gut.
Now, scientists from the University of Glasgow have found a product made by natural soil-living bacteria that can successfully treat E. coli O157 – [one of] the most serious types of the bug – without producing any serious side effects.
The new study, published in Infection and Immunity, found that Aurodox, a compound first discovered in 1973 but found to be poorly active as a true antibiotic, was able to successfully block E. coli O157 infections.
Scotland has one of the highest incidences of E. coli O157 in the world, and almost half of O157 cases in Scotland are in children under 16 years of age.
The Aurodox compound was able to reduce the ability of E. coli O157 to bind to human cells and, unlike traditional antibiotics, did not cause the release of potent toxins. The researchers believe that this compound could be used as a promising future treatment of E. coli O157 infections.
With an estimated one million cases a year, food poisoning doesn’t stop over the festive season.
To save you and your loved ones from a nasty bout of food poisoning over the holidays, follow our advice:
When Christmas food shopping, take enough bags with you so that you can separate out raw and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross-contamination.
Check the guidance on your turkey to ensure you have enough time to fully defrost it – it could take as many as 4 days.
Don’t wash raw turkey – it just spreads germs further by splashing them onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops.
To work out the cooking time for your bird, read the instructions on the packaging. Check that: the meat is steaming hot throughout, there is no pink meat visible when you cut into the thickest part and meat juices run clear.
Whether you cooked your turkey from frozen or fresh, your turkey leftovers can be used to make a new meal (such as a turkey curry). This new meal can then be frozen, but make sure you only reheat it once.
SINGAPORE: Banquet operations at Mandarin Orchard Singapore’s main ballroom have been suspended with immediate effect after 175 people fell ill with food poisoning and nine were hospitalised, the authorities said late on Wednesday (Dec 5).
The 175 cases were linked to four separate events held at the Grand Ballroom at Mandarin Orchard Hotel between Dec 1 and 3, said the Ministry of Health (MOH), National Environment Agency (NEA) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).
The nine people who were hospitalised are in stable condition.
Investigations are ongoing, said the authorities.
As all the affected people had attended events or eaten meals at the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, and in view of “suspected ongoing transmission,” authorities said the NEA had also suspended the banquet kitchen serving the Grand Ballroom.
The hotel has also been instructed to close the Grand Ballroom to conduct a thorough clean-up and disinfection.
The E. coli O157:H7 romaine outbreak has grown, according to an update posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the last update posted in November 26, 2018, an additional nine patients have been added to the total for 52 sick. Those patients live in 15 states. Nineteen people have been hospitalized.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) yesterday issued a public health warning advising the public not to collect or consume shellfish harvested from the entire Bay of Islands inside a line between Cape Brett northward to Cape Wiwiki.
Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.