When academics or politicians or pretty much anybody is lost on an issue, they usually say, we need to educate people about this very important issue.
We’ve done research and found the education model don’t work so well. More importantly is how to inform people so they actually give a shit (instead of putting shit, on food).
Some German researchers investigated a cluster of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104:H4 infections after a family party during a large STEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany and report their findings in Epidemiology and Infection.
To identify the vehicle we conducted a retrospective cohort study. Stool samples of party guests, and food and environmental samples from the catering company were tested for STEC. We defined cases as party guests with gastrointestinal symptoms and laboratory-confirmed STEC infection. We found 23 cases among 71 guests. By multivariable analysis consumption of salmon [odds ratio (OR) 15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·3–97], herb cream (OR 6·5, 95% CI 1·3–33) and bean salad (OR 6·1, 95% CI 1·4–26) were associated with STEC infection. STEC O104:H4 was detected in samples of bell pepper and salmon. The food handler developed STEC infection. Our results point towards transmission via several food items contaminated by a food handler. We recommend regular education of food handlers emphasizing their role in transmitting infectious diseases.