John Gentile yjgent at home.com
Wed Feb 21 23:27:37 EST 2001

    That's an excellent summation of the 3 big ones - Salmonella, Shigella
and Campylobacter. An important point you brought up should always be
remembered - you should ALWAYS consider raw meat to be contaminated with
potentially dangerous pathogens!

    Sorry to hear about your bout with Shigella. Having worked through a
Shigella outbreak from a Boy Scout picnic I wouldn't want to catch that!

    Your story about the patient with Salmonella pneumonia reminded me of my
first day in pathogenic micro lab in college. My professor sat us down and
said that we were going to be handling dangerous and deadly bacteria and to
follow his instructions very carefully. He went on to explain that as a grad
student (in the 1930's with Dr. Stuart the discoverer of Providencia) his
roomate opened a vacuum sealed vial of Salmonella and ended up with
pneumonia and died. That's a hell of an introduction into a subject you are
considering your life work!

John Gentile                                    Rhode Island Apple Group
yjgent at home.com                                      President
 "I never make mistakes, I only have unexpected learning opportunities"

> From: Dilworth <bactitech at hortonsbay.com>
> Organization: CoreComm LTD - Chicago, IL
> Newsgroups: bionet.microbiology
> Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2001 00:29:20 -0500
> Subject: Re: help with SALMONMELLA
> I already posted this on sci.med.nutrition in reply to your same
> inquiry, and therefore I'll post it again.....
> The biggest thing is COOK FOOD THOROUGHLY to kill the organism.
> Because I work in a laboratory, and because chicken in particular is 70%
> infected with Campylobacter, and a lesser amount with Salmonella, I
> treat ALL RAW MEAT as a specimen.  In other words, at the store, I take
> the plastic bag and do as taurusrc [poster in SMN newsgroup) suggests:
> I grab the container of meat through the plastic bag and flip it over
> the meat.  I also make
> sure that the meat isn't anywhere near any fresh vegetables or anywhere
> it can drip on anything i.e. the bottom of the cart away from as much as
> possible.  This is also important when you store raw meat in the
> refrigerator.  Do not store raw meat on a shelf above fresh vegetables
> so the blood/juice can drip on anything.  Always put your raw meat on a
> bottom shelf, preferably on a plate, until you either cook it or freeze
> it.  Don't leave raw meat in the refrigerator for more than a day after
> you buy it.  Freeze it.  Bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures,
> they just grow more slowly.  Blood is a perfect medium for bacteria to
> grow in.  Our agar plates in the lab are enriched with 5% sheep blood in
> order to grow human pathogens.
> Our newspaper lists restaurant inspections and what each restaurant is
> cited for.  Two of the biggest things they catch them on is not keeping
> cold foods cold enough and hot foods hot enough.  Make sure your
> refrigerator is in the correct range.  Buy a refrigerator thermometer.
> Also, don't keep food out at room temperature longer than two hours
> after it is cooked (preferably much shorter).  When food becomes
> lukewarm, it approaches body and/or incubator temperature.  We grow all
> our cultures at 35 degrees C (approx. 98 degrees F).  We obviously set
> our incubators at this temperature because it is the ideal temperature
> at which to grow human pathogens - human body temperature!
> I start warm water running in the sink before cutting chicken, etc.
> because then I don't have to handle the faucets with my messy hands.  I
> also keep a spray bottle of bleach cleaner handy to spray counter tops,
> and the faucets if I slipped up, as you don't want to have other people
> inadvertently touch the faucets and then put their fingers in their
> mouths, which is how this bug is passed.
> You may think I'm paranoid, but I am.  I caught another bacteria,
> Shigella, from a specimen 18 years ago.  Shigella is also an enteric
> pathogen that causes dysentery, not mere diarrhea.  I lost 15 pounds in
> 2 weeks, had a high temperature, and was very ill.  An acquaintance's
> wife infected herself with Campylobacter at a family reunion.  They were
> at a state park and she was getting raw chicken ready for the grill.
> She didn't or couldn't wash her hands properly, infected herself, and
> ended up in the hospital with severe dehydration.
> It is also very important NOT to take anti-diarrheal medication or
> prescription drugs like Lomotil if you suspect food poisoning.  Your
> body produces diarrhea for a reason - to get rid of the toxin produced
> by the bacteria.  Anything that slows the transit time of the stool
> causes more toxin to be absorbed into your body.  In a few cases in the
> literature this can cause fatalities.  The best thing is to replace
> fluids as well as you are able.  If sever dehydration sets in, you must
> go to an ER and be put on IV fluids, as this is what is dangerous about
> these organisms. This is especially important with children and the
> elderly, as they dehydrate more quickly.
> Salmonella can invade other parts of the body besides the intestine.
> Certain strains are dangerous in that they can cause sepsis (bacteria in
> the blood or the old fashioned term "blood poisoning").  I remember a
> patient many years ago that grew a pure culture of Salmonella Group B
> (they are serogrouped when identified) in her sputum!  She eventually
> went septic (went into her bloodstream) from it and died.  I don't think
> we ever cultured it from her stool.  There are many strains of
> Salmonella, and they serogroup them to subspecies level in order to
> track them in outbreaks of food poisoning.  State public health
> laboratories usually do this.
> For further technical reading on Salmonella, visit this page:
> http://www.qmw.ac.uk/~rhbm001/salmopage.html
> This is a better one:
> http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/salmonellosis_g.htm
> Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
> Microbiology
> Peter Clayton wrote:
>> I am studying salmonmella and the preventative actions that you can take
>> to stop 1)spreading it  2)becoming ill from it.

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