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E. coli

Kristen Schweighoefer
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Salmonella, E. Coli, and other pathogens have been more prevalent in food lately, thus leading to an unusually high number of food recalls.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Kristen Schweighoefer, environmental health director for the Washtenaw County Health Department, about why such recalls have increased and what we can do to avoid food-borne illnesses.


Produce
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Food safety became a huge concern when a man introduced hazardous chemicals to grocery stores in Washtenaw County in May.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Environmental Health Director Kristen Schweighoefer about what to do if contaminated food becomes a serious problem.


Accugenix

A brand new bacterium in the same family as E. Coli and Klebsiella Pneumonia has been identified by the NSF International's Applied Research Center in Ann Arbor, and you're not going to like where it can be found.

The bacteria is called Klebsiella michiganensis, and it grows in the bottom of your toothbrush holder.

Dr. Robert Donofrio is the Director of the Applied Research Center at the NSF.

He says more research is necessary to identify the exact source of the bacterium, but what is known is that saliva and toothpaste mixed with fecal matter can fester, creating a sludge that could potentially cause a drug-resistant infection.

Dr. Donofrio also says that the bacterium is unique because it is in capsule from, and is hard to break down due to a slimy surface that helps it attach to mucus membranes and evade immune system responses.

He suggests closing the lid of your toilet before flushing as a way to help prevent cross-contamination.