Animal poop is everywhere in Bangladesh, and fecal indicator bacteria sorta suck

Fecal-oral pathogens are transmitted through complex, environmentally mediated pathways. Sanitation interventions that isolate human feces from the environment may reduce transmission but have shown limited impact on environmental contamination.

We conducted a study in rural Bangladesh to (1) quantify domestic fecal contamination in settings with high on-site sanitation coverage; (2) determine how domestic animals affect fecal contamination; and (3) assess how each environmental pathway affects others. We collected water, hand rinse, food, soil and fly samples from 608 households. We analyzed samples with IDEXX Quantitray for the most probable number (MPN) of E. coli.

We detected E. coli in source water (25%), stored water (77%), child hands (43%), food (58%), flies (50%), ponds (97%) and soil (95%). Soil had >120,000 mean MPN E. coli per gram. In compounds with vs. without animals, E. coli was higher by 0.54 log10 in soil, 0.40 log10 in stored water and 0.61 log10 in food (p<0.05). E. coli in stored water and food increased with increasing E. coli in soil, ponds, source water and hands.

We provide empirical evidence of fecal transmission in the domestic environment despite on-site sanitation. Animal feces contribute to fecal contamination, and fecal indicator bacteria do not strictly indicate human fecal contamination when animals are present.

Animal feces contribute to domestic fecal contamination: Evidence from E. coli measured in water, hands, food, flies, and soil in Bangladesh

Environmental Science and Technology, July 2017, Ayse Ercumen, Amy Janel Pickering, Laura H. Kwong, Benjamin Arnold, Sarker Masud Parvez, Mahfuja Alam, Debashis Sen, Sharmin Islam, Craig Kullmann, Claire Chase, Rokeya Ahmed, Leanne Unicomb, Stephen Luby, and John M. Colford, DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b01710


Consumers in Bangladesh feel unsafe about food

Nearly two years into passage of the Food Safety Act 2013 and six months into formation of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA), consumers are still anxious about food adulteration in the country, said speakers yesterday.

Food-security_bdMany consumers, agricultural scientists, right activists, and policy planners, at a seminar, demanded that the BFSA inform the public about its progress in enforcing the act which came into force amidst a huge public outcry over widespread food adulteration.

Cricket-security police fall ill with food poisoning

Apparently there’s a World Cup of cricket and apparently it’s being held in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

I’m not being disrespectful, I just wouldn’t know. I do know there’s a Capitals-Flyers game on TV tonight (that’s hockey).

Whatever the sport, players play lousy when they barf. And if security’s barfing, there should be some red flags around the athletes.

Reuters reports around 60 policemen on World Cup security duty in Dhaka fell sick on Tuesday after eating contaminated food.

The policemen, who were on duty at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and the teams’ hotel, were taken to hospital after eating food supplied by a local contractor.

Colonel Mesbahuddin, the security chief for the local organising committee, said, "The policeman started vomiting shortly after having the food. Around 50 of them were taken to hospital for treatment."

The sick policeman included more than a dozen members of the elite security force, Rapid Action Battalion. The food supplier was taken into custody.

The incident took place on the eve of the first quarter-final between Pakistan and West Indies.

Bangladesh bans sale of palm sap after bat poop with Nipha virus kills 35

The N.Y. Times reports that Bangladesh is suffering an outbreak of deadly Nipah virus, causing the government to adopt an unusual prevention tactic: a ban on the sale of fresh palm sap.

The virus, carried by bats, was identified only in 1999. It causes dangerous brain inflammation in humans and is infectious. The Bangladeshi outbreak is unusually lethal, killing 35 of the 40 people known to have been infected.

The first known outbreak of Nipah virus was in Malaysia, where most victims raised or butchered pigs that were the source of infection. The pigs are believed to have rooted beneath bat colonies in trees, eating food contaminated by droppings. But the Bangladesh outbreak happened without a swine vector.

Bangladeshis like drinking date palm sap, which is gathered “in a way similar to maple syrup collection,” said Dr. Jonathan H. Epstein, a veterinarian with the EcoHealth Alliance, which is helping Bangladesh track the virus.

Gatherers called gachis climb high into the trees, shave the bark with machetes and hang clay pots on the trunks to collect the sap at night. Large fruit bats called Indian flying foxes are attracted and lap up the running sap, sometimes fouling the pots with their saliva, urine or feces.

Many people in the tropics leave palm sap to ferment into wine — and fermentation might kill the virus. But most Bangladeshis are Muslim, and do not drink alcohol, Dr. Epstein said.

Rat in curry prompts cull at Bangladeshi university

drive after rodent meat found its way into chicken curry served to students.

A spokesman told the BBC,

"One student detected the head of the rat while eating his lunch. That student instantly suffered a stomach upset."

Soon after the incident hundreds of angry students staged a demonstration demanding action against the chef.

The chef has now been suspended and handed over to police who have been called in to investigate the incident.

What Bangladesh sweatshops can teach U.S. food producers

ASDA, Britain’s second largest supermarket chain, recently installed webcams in two apparel factories in Bangladesh to give its customers a direct, uncensored viewed into working conditions on the factory floor.

Cargill is doing the same thing to provide transparency to its animal slaughter business and improve food safety. It’s about time.

When the Los Angeles Times reported last week how a couple of large food producers were held hostage by a kid with a video camera — the Humane Society of the United States released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation’s largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages – I once again thought, why wouldn’t food producers take matters into their own hands?

The egg-farm footage released Wednesday was shot surreptitiously over the last two months inside Iowa facilities owned by Rose Acre Farms and Rembrandt Enterprises. It was taken by a Humane Society volunteer, who had landed work at four Iowa hen operations.

Among other things, the video footage showed chickens crammed into cages so crowded that the animals couldn’t move and their talons couldn’t touch the floor; chickens held in battery cages above manure pits that allegedly hadn’t been regularly cleaned; and a worker stuffing birds into a euthanizing chamber with such force that the thunk of the animals’ heads hitting the metal exterior could be heard.

Tony Wesner, executive vice president of Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Ind., said Wednesday morning that the company "doesn’t condone inhumane treatment" of its livestock. "Anyone violating our standards would be immediately terminated," Wesner said.

Then bring out your own video evidence to back up what you say. Words aren’t enough. Prove it. And if a sweatshop in Bangladesh can provide the evidence, can’t a U.S. slaughterhouse?

Lizard droppings may have poisoned Bangladesh students

Lizard droppings or similar contamination may have been the cause for scores of students falling ill after eating at a girls’ hostel of Bagerhat Government PC College, civil surgeon Subhash Kumar Saha said on Sunday.

Saha was making an inspection of the hostel’s kitchen after 63 students, who had taken lunch there on Saturday, underwent treatment for food poisoning at Bagerhat Sadar Hospital.

Of them, 31 were admitted in critical condition, said doctors, but all were treated and out of danger.