Deadly Dirty Medical Scopes Still Treaten Trusting Patients


Sixteen patients were infected by dangerous bacteria from medical scopes at Huntington Hospital from January 2013 to August 2015, including 11 who have now died, Pasadena health officials said.

Many of those patients were already severely ill, including some with cancer. Health officials said that only one of the 11 death certificates listed the bacteria as the cause, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. It was not clear if infection was a factor in any of the other deaths.

The hospital had previously said just three patients were infected in an outbreak that officials said was limited to the middle of 2015, according to The Times.

The patient infections were detailed in the Pasadena Public Health Department’s investigation into the outbreak. The report blamed both the design of the scope and the hospital for lapses in infection control.

For example, investigators discovered visible residues in the machines used to clean the scopes, according to the report cited by The Times.

Investigators also said the hospital had been using canned compressed air from Office Depot to dry the scopes, which is not recommended by the manufacturer or by cleaning guidelines, the newspaper reported.

Pasadena health officials said they had found no additional scope- related infections since the start of their investigation on Aug. 19.

Dr. Paula Verrette, Huntington’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday that the hospital has now changed its practices based on the findings and recommendations of health officials, The Times reported.

Lawrence Muscarella, a medical safety consultant in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, who has been following the scope outbreaks, told The Times that the Pasadena case showed that many more patients may have been infected across the country than has been publicly reported.

“This shows a total failure of the system, from top to bottom,” he said.

6 Gross Things That Happen When You Don't Clean Your Computer


a day ago LIFESTYLE

You may not think much of it from day to day, but some seriously gross things happen when you don't clean your computer. Although modern workplaces and homes are generally safer than they have ever been in the past, new technologies bring new pitfalls of course. Personally, I wouldn't trade a nice, computer-based office (even one with an open floor plan) for any other kind really. But that doesn't mean that working around computers is perfect.

Computers, and keyboards in particular, are actually huge dirt traps. Think about it, you touch them all the time, day in and day out, and may even drag them around with you everywhere you go. Cleaning options are limited — it's not like you can scrub the thing — but computer users generally don't even avail themselves of those. Though going nuts with cleaning can be overkill, I can't say I have ever known a single person who cleaned their computer too often.

The computer probably isn't dirtier than many of the other things you touch, but it sure isn't clean, so in light of the following things that happen when you don't clean your computer, you should definitely give your habits a second thought. You will be better off in the long run.

1. Your hands become covered in poop


A small study conducted using 30 keyboards at an office in the UK found that one had 150 times the limit of bacteria considered "safe," making thatkeyboard five times dirtier than your average toilet. Four of those keyboards harbored the type of germs that could make you sick to your stomach. There's no sugar-coating this finding: it's beginning to look like keyboards are covered in fecal bacteria — as in, from poop. Every person you witness leaving the bathroom without washing his or her hands is probably bound for a keyboard somewhere, and that is the inevitable result. Ick.

2. You ingest germs and can get sick

As if it weren't bad enough to have those computer-borne germs on you, they can also get in you, potentially making you sick. Between eating at the computer, rubbing your computer-weary eyes, wiping your nose while you work, and possibly having small cuts on your hands, there are plenty of routes from those germs straight into you, where your immune system will have to fight all of them off — or else.

3. You get other people sick


Even if you dodge the illness bullet, you could easily pass germs to others by touching a shared computer. After all, who wants to be the person who never lets anyone lay a hand on their precious laptop? Obviously, getting other people sick is not a nice thing to do.

4. Your computer doesn't run as well

Computer components don't work well when they become too hot. But lint and dirt and fuzz can trap air in there, causing the computer's temperature to rise and its performance to degrade. So keeping your computer clean is not just a health and aesthetic issue, it's a productivity one too! Don't let your computer become such a scuzz trap that it can't even run.

5. Your keyboard ends up looking like a food fight


Even if it's not dangerous, a keyboard full of sticky oily whatever just looks horrible. It doesn't feel so good either. Ick.

6. Cleaning the computer becomes a gross job in itself

As you might have learned the hard way from not cleaning your bathroom or kitchen, the less you clean something the harder the job becomes. Your computer is no different — that neglected keyboard can pretty quickly turn from being just a little sticky to maximally gross if you don't exercise caution. And the only thing worse than frantically shaking your year-old debris out of a keyboard is shaking someone else's year-old debris out of a keyboard. Give your computer a quick cleaning at the end of each week, your future self will thank you.

CRF Frozen Foods Recalls Frozen Vegetables Due to Possible Health Risk

CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington is voluntarily recalling fifteen frozen vegetable items that have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No illnesses have been reported to date, but the company is recalling the products as a precaution. The Listeria was discovered through routine testing by state health officials in Ohio. Listeria monocytogenes was found to be present in one lot of Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) organic petite green peas and one lot of IQF organic white sweet cut corn.

Recalled items were sold in plastic bags and are marked with Use By Dates located on the back of the package. Listed below are details regarding the recalled items:

LabelSizeItemUPCUse By Date

True Goodness By Meijer10 oz.Organic Petite Green Peas71373343099911/26/2017

True Goodness By Meijer10 oz.Organic White Sweet Corn71373343098211/21/2017

Wellsley Farms Organic4 lb.Organic Mixed Veg88867001013610/25/2017

Wellsley Farms Organic4 lb.Organic Green Peas8886700099702/10/2017

Wellsley Farms Organic4 lb.Organic Green Peas8886700099702/15/2018

Organic By Nature - Canada2.5 kg.Organic Green Peas84635800061910/22/2017

Organic By Nature - Canada2.5 kg.Organic Green Peas84635800061912/3/2017

Organic By Nature - Canada2.5 kg.Organic Green Peas8463580006193/16/2018

Organic By Nature4 lb.Organic Green Peas84635800069510/25/2017

Organic By Nature5 lb.Organic Green Peas8463580006332/15/2018

Organic By Nature - Canada2.5 kg.Organic Green Peas8463580006193/16/2018

Organic By Nature5 lb.Organic Veg Medley w/ Shelled Edamame8463580006572/11/2018

Organic By Nature4 lb.Organic White Supersweet Corn84635800070111/19/2017

Organic By Nature5 lb.Organic White Supersweet Corn8463580006409/13/2017

Schwan's16 oz.Organic SS Yellow & White Cut Corn0072180604332B5320

We know the recalled frozen vegetables were distributed to retailers and distribution centers between September 13, 2015 and March 16 in the following states, and may be redistributed in other states nationwide: AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, LA, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan of Canada.

Consumers are urged not to consume these products. Consumers who purchased these products may take them back to the store where they purchased them for a refund or simply discard them. Consumers seeking information may call 844.551.5595 Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Members of the news media requiring more information should contact Anne Struthers at 218.616.0769.


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Gym Free Weights Have More Germs Than Public Toilets


Your gym is flush with germs.

The free weights are crawling with 362 times more bacteria than public toilets, according to a recent study by

“Every time you pick up a weight or grab an exercise bike handle, you could be putting yourself at risk for an illness or infection,” reads the damning report from the fitness equipment news site.

EmLab P&K took bacteria samples from 27 different pieces of gym equipment (three treadmills, three exercise bikes and three free weights) at three unidentified fitness chains to see how many germs an exerciser picks up when pumping iron or getting in some cardio.

The results will make gym rats sweat.

More than 70% of bacteria swabbed by the study are potentially harmful to humans, including gram-positive cocci, which causes skin infections, pneumonia and septicemia.

The free weights were the dirtiest, likely because strength trainers don’t wipe down the dumbbells as often as people wipe down the cardio machines.

"I hate to say this, but people are gross, especially at the gym," FitRated rep Cristina Lachowyn told the Daily News. "You know when you're done with the treadmill to wipe it down, but you don't really see people wiping down free weights all that much. It's something to think about."

But the treadmills and stationary bikes didn’t get off completely clean. Testing revealed that the average bike handle carries 39 times more bacteria than a reusable public cafeteria tray, including Bacillus, which can cause eye, ear and respiratory infections. And the treadmill's control panel averages 74 times more bacteria than a typical public bathroom faucet.

All three types of equipment yielded the rash-inducing gram-positive cocci mentioned above, as well as gram-negative rods, which also cause infections and can resist antibiotics. All teemed with more than 1 million bacteria per square inch — each.

A study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine also revealed that 63% of gym machines tested harbored traces of rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.

And a University of California-Irvine study found that staphylococcus bacteria, which are often found on the skin or in the nose and spread easily through cuts and infections, can survive on hard surfaces like gym equipment, basketballs and benches even after being sanitized.

Ready to hit the showers yet?

Gym goers can protect themselves by disinfecting the machines and weights before and after use, washing their hands and avoiding touching their faces, and changing out of their gym clothes as soon as they’re breaking a sweat.

"We decided to do this kind of study to make people aware of their habits, and make you work out a lot cleaner and safer," said Lachowyn. "The last thing you need is to get sick when you're trying to get fit."

Norovirus Sickens More Than 200 Students at Ursinus College, PA

According to Montgomery County officials, an outbreak at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania was caused by norovirus. More than 200 students, faculty, and staff at the college were sickened in the past week.

Phoenixville Hospital confirmed that tests on two students confirmed the presence of the pathogenic virus. Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, a physician and Interim Medical Director of the Health Department said in a statement, “This is the agent we have suspected since the outbreak began. While the illness has been truly unfortunate, this has been a model of cooperation between the various health agencies and Ursinus. We will continue to be vigilant and work closely with Ursinus to focus on hygiene measures to reduce transmission.”

Ursinus College medical Director Dr. Paul Doghramji said in a statement, “Members of the campus community who develop symptoms should continue to contact the Wellness Center. Anyone who has been ill should follow CDC Guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading., This includes practicing good hygiene, avoiding well people for a few days, and cleaning clothes, linens, and contaminated surfaces.”

The college has been monitoring illnesses, promoting hand hygiene, conducted environmental disinfection, and excluding ill food workers. Ursine College President Brock Blomberg said, “this has been a difficult time for students and their families. The safety and wellbeing of our students remains our top priority.”

Norovirus is very contagious. Cases and outbreaks of norovirus illnesses increase during the winter months, when more people are indoors. It can be transmitted through contaminated food and water, through person-to-person contact, and through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated.

To prevent the spread of this illness, it’s important that anyone who is sick, especially with a diarrheal or vomiting illness, to stay home and avoid others. Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom, and be especially thorough if you are ill. Wash your hands after caring for someone who is sick. And wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food or serving food.

Super Market Recalls Cheese Due To Presence of Listeria Bacteria.

Business owners, why not be completely sure that your facility is free of harmful bacteria such as Listeria? ByoProtect can cover every area and protect it for up to 90 days. Don't take the risk of ruining your company's good reputation. Call (209) 224-8202!

A supermarket chain has recalled a number of its Camembert products due to the presence of Listeria monocytogenes.

Sainsbury’s has taken steps to recall products containing Camembert with ‘use by’ dates up to and including 6 March 2016 after detecting low levels of the bacteria in some of its products.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause foodborne illness, with pregnant women, young children, those with weakened immune systems and anyone over 60 years old particularly at risk.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference French Camembert Cheese 250g, Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Baking Camembert Cheese 250g and Sainsbury’s Camembert Pays 250g have all been affected by the recall.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Routine testing of our Taste the Difference Camembert has detected extremely low levels of listeria in a very small number of samples. Although the recall of this product is purely precautionary and the product is not presently unsafe, we are asking customers not to eat it and to return their purchase to their nearest Sainsbury’s for a full refund.

“As an extra precaution, we have also chosen to recall two other products made by the same supplier. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Customers are advised not to consume the product. Instead, affected products should be returned to a Sainsbury’s store for a full refund.



A Reminder That "Clean" Doesn't Always Mean Germ-Free

TravelMath—a trip-planning website—sent teams to nine different hotels and took 36 different samples to test what dirt lies beneath the shiny exterior of a hotel room. In each of the rooms, they tested the remote control, the bathroom counter, the desk, and the phone. What they found is enough for travelers to start adding bleach wipes to their “must pack” list.

Turns out, hotels have a lot of germs and, according to TravelMath’s findings, they may beeven dirtier than airplanes—or schools. Perhaps even more surprising: the results showed that four- and five-star hotels actually had more germs than rooms at three-star hotels.

The study revealed that most germs were found on the bathroom counters of four-star hotels with over 2.5 million bacteria levels in colony-forming units (CFUs), with the remote control in five-star hotels coming in a close second with more than two million CFUs. If you’re staying in a four-or five-star hotel, also be aware of the desks, which harbor more than space for penning a postcard. The smallest colonies of germs were found on the phones of hotels (just 4,252 CFUs) probably because most people use their own phones these days—save for when calling for room service.

While most of the germs found weren’t particularly dangerous, you’re still going to want to wash your hands after touching the bathroom counter or TV remote before you head off to dinner.

Disclaimer: It’s important to note that a study of nine hotels isn’t necessarily indicative of widespread germ problems in hotel rooms, but it is a good reminder that “clean” doesn’t always mean germ-free and hand washing is always a good idea—especially when traveling. 



Dozens of Students Sent Home After Apparent Norovirus Outbreak at Queens School

Eighty-eight students have been sent home from a Queens elementary school over the last two days after an apparent outbreak of norovirus, commonly known as the stomach flu, officials said. Sixty students from elementary school PS 12 in Woodside were sent home with their parents at about 8 a.m. Wednesday after they complained of various stomach issues. Another 28 students were sent home Thursday after reporting similar symptoms, officials said. No children were sent to the hospital on either day. 

Mayor de Blasio said he ordered the school to be disinfected over the next several days; he said school can still operate during the disinfection process and the Department of Health is on site monitoring. Inspectors were checking out the school's cafeteria Thursday, but no contamination was found.

The school’s attendance was down about 210 students Thursday and 130 students on Wednesday, officials said. The school has 1,275 students and attendance averages 96 percent. Fourth-grader Karen Leon left the school early Thursday with her mother. She said the nurse's office was jame packed. "It's full of kids right now," she said. "It's very dangerous and the nurse wants to alert everyone to go home so they won't catch it." 

Parents picking up their sick kids left the school with fact sheets on norovirus. The Department of Education said it would continue working closely with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to ensure students' safety.

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be contracted from an infected person, contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces. It is the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms include stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, headache and body aches. A person normally develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus. Most people get better within three days while drinking plenty of fluids.
To avoid exposure, federal officials advise people to wash their hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and before eating, preparing or handling food.  

By Pei-Sze Cheng and John Chandler

The Bacteria That May Be Causing Your Nasty Cold

WTXF- PHILADLEPHIA - Have you ever had a cold or sinus or respiratory thing that just won't go away or as soon as you get over one ailment here comes something else? Well, you’re not alone.

"There's something called atypical bacterial infections,”  specialist George Martin - head of Lankenau Hospital's Department of Allergy and Asthma, told us.

“The most common one of them in Mycoplasma Pneumoniae Infection," Martin explained.

Attacking your tracheal/bronchial tree --  and commonly seen in spring and fall but thanks to our record-breaking warm fall into winter -- this has been that gift that keeps on giving.

"Many times you see it in army barracks, international schools, in the workplace where people work closely together they infect one another," Dr. Martin said.

Most likely he says by breathing in the spray of somebody's cough. A nasty and tricky kind of misery, according to Dr. Martin.

"A very fastidious organism, in other words, difficult to culture but what it is is a bacteria that acts more like a virus."

Takes a blood test or mucus test to find it.

"Are doctors maybe missing this? Not so much that they're missing it but may be not being treated as aggressively as one would like."

Why does it keep coming back in one form or another?

“Your central nervous system could be affected - headache, inability to concentrate gastrointestinal as well as respiratory symptoms, sinusitis for long periods of time," Dr. Martin told FOX 29.

Asthma, allergy and respiratory sufferers suffer more and it can remain in your body up to 9 months.

But there is some good news Dr. Martin says it is easy to treat especially if you attack it quickly with 3 basic antibiotics.






The 10 Biggest U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2015


This year saw dozens of well-publicized foodborne illness outbreaks. While many of them were found to have sickened a handful of individuals, a few stood out as especially wide in scope. Food Safety News has compiled a list of the 10 most harmful U.S. outbreaks of 2015, in terms of both the number of people who died and the number sickened.*

This list excludes norovirus outbreaks and only includes pathogenic outbreaks associated with grocery products or restaurants. Please also note that the actual number of outbreak cases is typically much higher than the quoted number due to many victims never reporting their illnesses.

10. E. coli O26 from Chipotle, specific source unidentified, 52 sickened. The fast casual chain was hit with six reported outbreaks, but it was the multistate E. coli outbreak which began in October that captured national attention. [CDC outbreak information] [Timeline]

9. Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) and Salmonella Weltevreden Infections Linked to Frozen Raw Tuna, 65 sickened. This outbreak – most prevalent on the West Coast – occurred between March and July and was believed to be caused by contaminated frozen tuna imported from Indonesia and used to make sushi. [CDC outbreak information]

8. Salmonella from pork carnitas sold at Supermercado Los Corrales, 70 sickened. The illnesses, reported to Kenosha County, WI health officials in May, were linked to pork carnitas sold at Supermercado Los Corrales during Mother’s Day weekend. The meat and food preparation area of the store was temporarily closed during the investigation and reopened June 4. [News report]

7. Staphylococcus aureus from the Sunnyside Child Care Center, 86 sickened. After dozens of children were hospitalized in Alabama, state health officials found Staphylococcus aureus toxin in several food products served at both locations of the Sunnyside Child Care Center in Montgomery which matched with patient samples. The kitchen was closed for investigation and reopened after staff complied with all necessary training and operational requirements. [News report]

6. SalmonellaI 4,[5],12:i:- and Salmonella Infantis from Pork, 192 sickened. There were 188 Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- illnesses and 4 Salmonella Infantis illnesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Alaska linked to pork produced by Kapowsin Meats. Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:- isolates collected from patients were found to be multidrug resistant. Thirty people were hospitalized and no deaths were reported. [CDC outbreak information]

5. Shigella from Mariscos San Juan, 194 sickened. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department reported on Nov. 9 that 194 people were sickened with Shigella. Nearly all of the cases reported that they ate at Mariscos San Juan restaurant on Oct. 16 or 17. [News Report]

4. Salmonella Typhimurium from Tarheel Q, 1 death and 280 sickened. Those who fell ill after eating at the Lexington, NC barbeque restaurant came from 16 North Carolina counties and five states. Laboratory testing indicated that the BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who became ill during the beginning of the outbreak were both positive for Salmonella. [News report]

3. Salmonella from the Boise Co-op, 290 sickened. Approximately 290 people were sickened with Salmonella linked to food purchased from the Boise Co-op deli after June 1, 2015. Preliminary test results showed Salmonella growth in raw turkey, tomatoes and onion. [News report]

2. Cyclospora from Mexcan-grown cilantro, 546 sickened.For the third year in a row, Cyclospora-contaminated cilantro grown in Mexico caused a massive outbreak. This year, there were 31 states affected but Texans bore the most with 179 illnesses. The bulk of the illnesses hit at the end of May and throughout June.[CDC outbreak information]

1. Salmonella Poona from Cucumbers, 4 deaths and 838 sickened. This enormous outbreak hospitalized 165 people and four deaths were reported in Arizona, California, Oklahoma and Texas. The outbreak hit California the hardest where 232 people were sickened, but 38 states were affected in total. Investigators identified cucumbers imported from Mexico and distributed by Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce as a likely source of the infections and there were two recalls of potentially contaminated cucumbers. The number of reported illnesses has declined substantially since the peak of illnesses in August and September, but it hasn’t returned to the number of reported illnesses expected each month (about five). [CDC outbreak information]

*We’d also like to mention the Listeria outbreak connected with Blue Bell Creameries. There were three deaths and 10 illnesses connected to the ice cream and reported as early as 2010. On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell recalled all of its products and began distributing its ice cream again at the end of August. Although the outbreak was fairly small and only one connected illness was reported in 2015, we thought it important to note on this list because of the unusual food product and the national coverage it sparked this year.

Top 10 Germiest Spots in Your Home

Disease-causing germs seem to be all over the place. What's the germiest spot in your house? Did you guess toilet seat? Guess again. Toilet seats don't even make it into the top 10, according to new research from NSF International. Scientists swabbed 30 surfaces in 22 homes - 660 tests in all - to gauge levels of yeast, mold, coliform bacteria (including salmonella and E. coli) and staph germs like those that can cause dangerous MRSA infections.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 germiest household items - determined by average germ counts found on each item - along with some surprising tips for keeping household bacteria under control...

10. Cutting boards

Cutting boards kick off the top 10 countdown, with the study showing that 18 percent harbor potentially dangerous coliform bacteria and 14 percent contain molds and yeasts.

Cleaning tip: After every use, place boards in the dishwasher or hand-wash with hot soapy water.

9. Stove knobs

Fourteen percent of knobs had coliform bacteria, while 27 percent harbored molds and yeasts.

Cleaning tip: Once a week, remove the knobs and wash in hot, soapy water.

8. Kitchen counters

Counters contaminated? Count on it. In the study, 32 percent of countertops harbored coliform bacteria, while 18 percent were found to have molds.

Cleaning tip: Rinse countertops with a dilute bleach/water solution after preparing food (unless your countertop requires special care).

7. Pet toys

Twenty-three percent of pet toys were found to harbor potentially dangerous staph bacteria - the highest staph percentage of any household item studied. Yeasts and molds infested 55 percent of pet toys, and 14 percent also harbored coliform bacteria. 

And we continue to let dogs lick our faces?

Cleaning tip: Scrub hard pet toys with soap, water, and a mild bleach solution. Soft toys? Chuck them in the washer.

6. Faucet handles

You know how you can't wash your hands before turning on the sink? No wonder coliform bacteria were found on nine percent of bathroom faucet handles. Not to mention that 27 percent had molds and five percent carried staph.

Cleaning tip: Clean faucet handles daily with disinfectant wipes or spray.

5. Coffee makers

Dark and damp, the reservoirs of coffee makers are perfect breeding grounds for microorganisms. Fifty percent of reservoirs swabbed for the study had mold and yeast, and nine percent had coliform bacteria.

Cleaning tip: Read the instruction manual. One good cleaning technique is to add four cups of vinegar to the reservoir, let it sit for 30 minutes, and then brew that vinegar. Then run two or three cycles of fresh water through the coffeemaker until the smell is gone.

4. Pet bowls

Rover's bowl ranked #4 on the list, with 45 percent of bowls in the study harboring mold and yeast, and 18 percent containing coliform bacteria.

Cleaning tip: Put bowls in the dishwasher. To hand-wash, use a dilute bleach solution (about one cap in a gallon of water), and rinse carefully with clean water.

3. Toothbrush holders

The high bacteria levels in toothbrush holders (27 percent had coliform, 14 percent had staph) are likely because toothbrush holders tend to be so close to the toilet -one flush can unleash fecal-containing aerosols. And who ever thinks to clean the holder? No wonder 64 percent harbored mold and yeast.

Cleaning tip: Toss the toothbrush holder in the dishwasher if safe, or wash with hot soapy water twice a week.

2. Kitchen sinks

Coming in at number two on the list is the kitchen sink. In the study, 45 percent of sinks tested positive for coliform bacteria, while 27 percent contained molds.

Cleaning tip: Clean the sides and bottom of the sink twice a week. Once a month, pour a solution of one teaspoon bleach per one quart of water down the drain. Don't forget to wash the sink strainer.

1. Dish sponges/rags

Drum roll, please. The germiest item in your household is - ironically - the item used to keep things clean. That's right, sponges and dish rags. In the study, 77 percent harbored coliform bacteria, and another 86 percent contained yeast and mold. Even scarier, 18 percent contained staph bacteria.

Cleaning tip: Microwave wet sponges once a day for two minutes, and replace at least once every two weeks. If you use a rag, toss it in a hot washing cycle every day or two.




E. coli Outbreak Scare Spreads to Walmart, Starbucks, & Target

An E. coli outbreak has led to food products being removed from store shelves in 18 states, affecting chains such as Walmart, Target and Costco, as the Food and Drug Administration adds to its growing recall list. Contaminated celery is believed to be the source of the scare.

E. coli is a type of bacteria that can cause serious infections. The list of possibly infected items now includes more than 155,000 products, reported CNN Money. Among the products recalled were chicken salad, macaroni salad and celery sticks from various companies.

Products were recalled by the Food and Drug Administration in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

At least 19 people in seven states were infected with E. coli from consuming Costco's rotisserie chicken salad, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Costco announced last month that it had removed the chicken salad from its stores and ceased its production.

The Threat of MRSA

It's becoming harder to fight off bacterial infections with antibiotics. In fact, these new "superbugs" are adapting to our medications. Why not prevent infections and illnesses by destroying the bacteria before it has a chance to ruin your health? ByoProtect has the only 100% total wrap around coverage that destroys dangerous bacteria and protects the surfaces for up to 90 days. Don't take chances. Take precautions and call (209) 224-8202!

Infectious disease researchers at Cedars-Sinai Hospital have uncovered something even more disquieting about the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Far and away the most notorious (if not the most common) "superbug," MRSA isn't just resistant to its namesake penicillin-family antibiotics, it adapts itself to them, becoming stronger in the process. The Cedars-Sinai work, as described in the current Cell Host & Microbe, may ultimately offer new insights into what makes MRSA so powerful in the first place.

MRSA causes 80,000 invasive infections and 11,000 related deaths per year in the United States. That's not a great record, and, despite ever-increasing hospital sanitation efforts and new and better antibiotics, the bug remains a dire threat.

The origins of MRSA's myriad virulence factors—related to tissue adhesion, immune evasion, and host cell injury, generally— are not entirely clear, but together they pack a hell of a punch. A crew of pathogenic bacteria will move in and immediately get to work binding to host cells and tissue, stirring up every sort of inflammation, crushing the victim's immune system, building themselves a protective biofilm armor, and unleashing all sorts of toxins. It's a bad and often confounding scene.


Developing An Infection Prevention Program

Cold and flu season is ramping up and the news of Ebola is all over the media. Infection control is definitely top of mind.
Ebola is nothing to joke about, but I can’t help but wonder if this is the infection du jour. In recent years it was C.diff, and before that MRSA, swine flu and bird flu. And don’t forget about old reliable, influenza A. It seems like there is always a new infection threat rearing its ugly head in the media, but what does it mean to custodial departments?

It has been reported in the national media that the staff working in that Texas hospital where the first Ebola case was revealed were not properly trained or equipped with an effective infection prevention program. And without an up-to-date program in place, Ebola spread and outbreak followed.
To a custodial manager, the infection shouldn’t matter; the importance of cleaning is the same and prevention is key. Custodial departments must be ready for any type of outbreak because the infection prevention program in place can mean life or death for building occupants and workers.

A good manager will have proper products on hand to fight viruses and bacteria, but a great manager re-evaluates their cleaning program regularly to make sure the team is ready to keep germs at bay. Not only should departments maintain stock of proper cleaning chemicals and disinfectants, but they should also provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff working around building occupants. Managers should also make sure programs are up-to-date and all staff are trained on reacting to an outbreak. Having an effective plan and a staff that can execute that plan properly will determine whether or not viruses — no matter what the infection threat is — can be contained.

To help managers develop a proper infection preparedness plan, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have outlined recommendations for preventing the spread of infections. For tips from the CDC on how to treat infected patients, as well as cleaning and training techniques

Read more here.

“Deep clean” at two Aberdeen schools after Norovirus outbreak

THIS is exactly why schools and day cares need ByoProtect. Electrostatics are the only way to treat EVERY touch point in large areas in a short amount of time – without the threat of cross contamination.
““The school is Victorian and in two parts so it could take a long time to clean. It also has the Victorian classroom in it which has artifacts from the time so I imagine they’ll have to be especially careful when cleaning around them.”

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Nearly half of South Florida hospitals below CDC standards on infections

“Any place in the country that finds its hospitals are lagging in an important area like infection rates needs hospital leadership to devote resources to address the problem,” said Robert Brooks, a patient safety expert who served as secretary of the Florida Department of Health between 1999 and 2001.
One in 25 patients in the hospital on any given day will contract an infection, according to the CDC, which also reported that 75,000 Americans die each year from hospital-acquired infections.

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