“Make sure to wear your flip flops!” was a popular quote our parents preached often when visiting public restrooms. As kids we were trained that public showers and bathhouses were contaminated with germs. We were taught that walking barefoot in public bathhouses was a sure fire way to get Athlete’s foot. Eeeks, not Athlete’s foot!
Now as adults we may be wondering how wise were our parents? Is it true that people can get Athlete’s foot from walking barefoot in public showers?
Yes, it is true. Of course simply walking into a public shower does not guarantee one will get Athlete’s foot. There have to be the right conditions for Athlete’s foot to grow. But you may ask yourself what is athlete’s foot? Well, Athlete’s foot or otherwise known as tinea pedis is a fungal infection of the skin that causes the skin on the toes and bottoms of the feet to scale, crack and swell. Athlete’s foot is very itchy and uncomfortable. In order for the tinea pedis fungus to grow it needs to be in wet, hot conditions. This is why showers are the perfect breeding ground for tinea pedis and why so commonly people contract Athlete’s foot from public showers. Continue reading →
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines in November, the country’s officials fear an even greater disaster – infectious diseases. The typhoon destroyed much of Talcoban city, killing an estimated 5,600 people and leaving another one million people homeless. With no clean drinking water available the people were forced to survive on drinking contaminated water, water that was mixed with sewage, feces, debris, and decomposing bodies.Health experts fear outbreak epidemics of infectious bacterial diseases will hit the already despaired people. Continue reading →
Did you know that the bacteria on chicken can spray up to three feet from where the poultry is washed? According to information published by the U.K. Food Standards Agency bacteria on poultry can indeed fly off in all directions up to three feet from where being washed in the kitchen sink. That means the food handler, the countertops, the sink, kitchen cabinets and floor are all targets for the bacteria to land on. Oh lovely! Just what we all want – harmful bacteria all over us and our kitchens!
It turns out all the well intention advice we received for decades was wrong. It is not safer to wash the chicken before cooking. In fact, the FSA states the opposite is true. It is safer to cook chicken unwashed. The only way bacteria are properly killed off is with high cooking temperature heat. All washing chicken achieves is cross contamination of salmonella, campylobacter and other bacterial food borne illnesses. Continue reading →