Apparently you shouldn’t eat lunch at your desk

I just did but made sure to keep my food in my Tupperware and washed my hands before eating. Love it when I see these stories and studies trying to panic the masses with bacterial names and how many there are per square inch….

The risk is low.

Brinkwire reports:

See why your desk at work is 400 times dirtier than your toilet
Here’s something that’ll put you right off your lunch.
Your desk at work has 400 times more germs than your toilet, according to a study by the University of Arizona.
And the research also reveals two-thirds of office workers are at risk of making themselves ill by eating at their desks.
Nasties such as e-coli (found in poo), staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa and helicobacter pylori were among the harmful bacteria found breeding on work desks, the Bristol Post reports .
An average desktop contains 20,961 germs per square inch – not counting the 3,295 on the keyboard, 1,676 on a mouse and a staggering 25,127 on the phone.
Hygiene experts reveal dirtiest place in the house – and it ISN’T the toilet
People in sales and marketing are the worst for cleanliness with over a fifth (22%) admitting that they only clean their desk once a month.
The printer is also a place that could use a good clean; the study commissioned by found that an average office printer contain 1,676 germs per square inch. 
And the office kitchen isn’t much better where 2,483 germs per square inch can be found on the handle of the kitchen kettle in a shared office compared to just 49 found on a toilet seat.
Even the tap – despite being surrounded by water – conceals 1,331 germs per square inch.
Of course you reduce the number of germs on your desk by using antibacterial wipes and sprays.
Lorry driver Wayne enjoys new life after 12st weight loss
Catherine Bannan, HR manager for, said: “It’s pretty shocking that there are more germs on your desk than on a toilet seat.
“But hopefully our visualisation will show people why it is so important to clean regularly so as to avoid getting ill and spreading infections unnecessarily amongst your colleagues.”

Gotta cool things: It was the staph (aureus) in food that sickened at least 86 kids at Alabama day cares

Public health officials on Thursday said Staphylococcus aureus was found in samples of food served at Sunnyside Child Care Center’s two locations, Mary McIntyre of the Alabama Department of Public Health said.

IMG_2288 aureus is known for causing food poisoning, skin infections and other medical issues. Children were admitted to local hospitals with vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, cramps and other symptoms Tuesday. Most of the children were between ages 1 and 4.

State health officer Don Williamson has said the food was likely served during an 11 a.m. lunch period and reports of sick children started coming in about 3 p.m. Foods the children were served included bologna, chicken and apples, Williamson said.

At least 10 confirmed with staph at horseriding event in Luxembourg: it was the pesto pasta salad

A pesto pasta salad has been officially blamed for a food poisoning outbreak at a horseriding event in Roeser.

road.apples .tragicallyhipThe conclusion was drawn by Luxembourg’s Health Ministry following an investigation into the food-borne infection, which spread among people who ate from the buffet of a VIP area at the event from June 12 to 13.

Analysis of the stools of 10 people admitted to emergency services were found to contain Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Food hygiene inspections of the caterers who prepared the buffet showed minor deficiencies in procedures for producing and storing food at the event.

Initially, the smoked salmon was blamed for the food poisoning outbreak. But, the investigation found that among those who fell ill, 82 percent reported having eaten the pesto pasta salad.

At the time of the investigation, no sample of the actual food served was available for testing, however.

90 sick; poor refrigeration of jam likely cause of fair food poisoning

The cronut craze seems to be receding, but not until at least 90 people were sickened after consuming cronut burgers at the cronut2Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto last month.

But it wasn’t the cronuts – it was probably a uniquely Canadian product, maple bacon jam served with the cronut burger.

Toronto Public Health says inadequate refrigeration probably caused the outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus.

While the brown sugar and maple syrup results came back negative, the bacon tested positive, but for different bacteria. The bacterial toxin found in jam samples from both Le Dolci and Epic Burgers was cronut.t.shirt.aug.13actually produced from a different strain of Staphylococcus aureus than that found in the bacon.

Why I never eat eggs benedict: staph in hollandaise sauce sickened 7 in Portland

Bill Stanley, an 83-year-old six-term county commissioner from North Carolina, had breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Northeast Portland last July.

As reported by Lynne Terry of The Oregonian, Stanley was in town for a nationwide meeting of county commissioners but become violently ill several hours after breakfast.

According to a state outbreak investigation, was one of seven people sickened after breakfast that morning at. All of them ate eggs benedict. An eighth person, who ordered eggs benedict but had the hollandaise sauce on the side and didn’t consume it, felt fine.

No one else got sick, pointing to the hollandaise sauce as the culprit.

Oregon heath officials couldn’t test it for pathogens, however. The hotel threw it away after breakfast service.

But lab tests confirmed that Stanley — and another person hospitalized in the outbreak — were sickened by a strain of Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium commonly found on the skin and in the noses of healthy people. Certain strains produce toxins that can spark quick and acute gastrointestinal symptoms.

The same strain was found in a nasal swab of one of the food workers at Crowne Plaza.

Dr. Mathieu Tourdjman, lead Oregon epidemiologist investigating the outbreak, said the sauce became toxic because it was not kept hot enough.

Unlike many other pathogens, the toxins produced by Staph cannot be killed by cooking. The only way to prevent foodborne Staph infections is by thorough hand washing and proper cooking. Food safety advocates recommend keeping cooked food warm at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

The temperature of the hollandaise sauce was not monitored by kitchen staff at Crowne Plaza, Tourdjman found.

The outbreak shocked the hotel, according to general manager Ziggy Lopuszynski, who said the hotel has taken the hollandaise sauce off the menu.

Stanley is suing for medical expenses of nearly $14,000 and $26,000 in noneconomic damages. The hotel has balked at the settlement.

Tainted desserts sicken 100, Illinois bakery pulls products

Sucks to be in public health in Illinois these days. Maybe there’s sprouts on cupcakes in some new foodie trend.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health announced today that over 100 people in at least four separate outbreaks have been sickened with Staphylococcus aureus after dining on desserts from Rolf’s Patisserie, a wholesale and retail sales bakery in Lincolnwood, just outside Chicago. No mention of the outbreaks on the company website.

Some became ill after eating the desserts at an unnamed restaurant while others were sickened after a holiday party, a catered party or company event.

Initial laboratory tests shows one food item to be contaminated with high levels of, a bacteria that produces toxins in foods that can make people ill. The bacteria can spread if a person with a staph infection has an uncovered lesion or sore that comes in contact with food or food processing equipment, the release said.

Antibiotic resistant microbes in soil

University tuition is not cheap and I, like many others, had to find employment throughout my university career to help pay for courses. Unfortunately, I ended up working in a hospital dealing with patients suffering from MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) and VRE (vancomycin resistant enterococcus), very disturbing and heartbreaking at the same time. A recent study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology indicates that there is more evidence pointing towards microorganisms in the soil becoming more resistant to antibiotics, ultimately ending up in the food supply; not unlikely. For instance, the use of avoparcin in Europe, an antimicrobial drug used as a growth promoter in food producing animals was shown to be one important factor leading to VRE in animals and that foodborne VRE may cause human colonization1.
The United Press International reports:
The researchers said that trend during the past 60 years continues despite more stringent rules on the use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, as well as improved sewage treatment technology that broadly improves water quality in surrounding environments.
David Graham of Britain’s Newcastle University and his colleagues said scientists have known for years that resistance was increasing in clinical situations, but the new study is the first to quantify the same problem in the natural environment over long time-scales.
The scientists said they are concerned increased antibiotic resistance in soils could have broad consequences to public health through potential exposure from water and food supplies. They said their findings "imply there may be a progressively increasing chance of encountering organisms in nature that are resistant to antimicrobial therapy."
1. L. Clifford McDonald, Matthew J. Kuehnert, Fred C. Tenover, and William R. Jarvis. Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci Outside the Health-Care Setting: Prevalence, Sources, and Public Health Implications. Emerging Infectious Diseases, Vol 3. No.3. July-September 1997. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Every health inspector needs one of these.

Oh snap, this is an awesome T-shirt. I know the writing is small, so this is what it says.

You know you are a health inspector when…

  1. People ask you where to eat and…… you just smile.
  2. You interrogate the cook at your own family’s Thanksgiving dinner
  3. The waiter asks “How would you like your burger?”and you reply,”Cooked to 160°F please.”
  4. Vomiting, diarrhea, and parasitic organisms are just part of the dinner conversation.
  5. You have a pool and spa kit on the edge of your bathtub.
  6. Your pockets contain test strips, alcohol wipes, thermometers, and spare change.
  7. Examining septic systems and leach fields constitute your daily aerobic workout.
  8. You know how to pronounce words like “Escherichia” and “ Staphylococcus.”
  9. Children avoid your neighborhood when setting up lemonade stands.
  10. You have developed a HACCP plan for your backyard barbeques.

Restaurant sued after staph intoxication linked to death

72-year old David Maupin, right, passed away after contracting Staphylococcus aureus intoxication from an Easter dinner he ate at a Louisville restaurant, according to Wave 33 TV.

On March 23, 2008, Maupin, his wife, brother, and sister-in-law all ate Easter Dinner at the Claudia Sanders Dinner House. Two days later he died.

The restaurant was closed for three days. After an investigation by the North Central Public Health Department, it was determined that hams being served that day were contaminated with the Staphylococcus aureus. Toxins produced when the bacteria grows causes food poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bob Silverthorn, Jr., the Maupin family’s Attornery, said,

"[Y]ou just don’t expect to go to your Easter Dinner or whatever and then the next couple of days somebody is gone because of something they ate. “

He continued,

“You know when you do an autopsy, stool sample, death certificate, FDA examination of food products, it all ties this together. I think [the restaurant] is going to have a very difficult time in light of all the scientific data that we have and will be presenting."

Food handlers are usually the main source of food contamination in outbreaks, however equipment and environmental surfaces can also be sources of contamination with Staphylococcus aureus.

Often foods that are not kept at proper temperatures, not kept hot enough (60°C, 140°F, or above) or cold enough (7.2°C, 45°F, or below), provide a good environment for certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus to produce enterotoxins, which in turn cause intoxication if this food is ingested by humans.

The most common symptoms of staphylococcal food poisoning include nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. The onset of symptoms is rapid, and usually runs a short course, however on rare occasions death from staphylococcal food poisoning has occurred.