Swiss Study Highlights E-Coli Hospital Contamination Risk

Swiss Study Highlights E-Coli Hospital Contamination Risk

The risk of a virulent strain of e-coli  in hospital cafeterias was highlighted by a recent Swiss study of raw chicken in the kitchens of a Geneva hospital.  Some 86% of raw chicken entering the hospital was found to contain extended-spectrum beta-lactamase producing E. coli (or ESBL-PE), which is resistant to many antibiotics.

The same study, which was published in the April edition of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, found that all of the raw chicken in a nearby supermarket group also contained the same strain of the bacteria.

While most forms of e-coli are harmless, certain strains can produce serious medical symptoms, most typically including severe diarrhea, cramps, and vomiting.   In more vulnerable populations (such as children) long term kidney problems may result and hospital patients with already compromised health will suffer more from a food poisoning outbreak.

Safety measures crucial for preventing hospital contamination

E-coli bacteria is found in feces and can be transmitted to human beings in a number of ways.  Hospital workers should take steps to avoid contamination of food, including cooking meat (such as chicken or group beef) thoroughly, avoiding contact between raw meet and other foods, washing produce (such as greens or sprouts) sufficiently to remove any contaminants, and washing their own hands.

Fortunately, the study cited above found no evidence of the e-coli strain in cooked chicken samples from the hospital kitchens, and concluded that the hospital safety precautions followed by workers in the Geneva hospital were sufficient.   But if it becomes clear that safety practices were not followed and led to a food poisoning outbreak, affected patients may have grounds for seeking compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Sanders Firm: trusted NY medical malpractice lawyers

It is necessary, however, to be able to demonstrate that negligence (such as a lapse in the safety practices cited above) was involved in a hospital contamination in order to have a viable case.  Therefore the choice of attorney is crucial:  plaintiffs need a firm that has the experience and resources to perform a thorough investigation of the circumstances that led to the illness.

The Sanders Firm can provide you with a free evaluation of your hospital negligence case.  Call toll-free 1-800-FAIR-PLAY to speak to an attorney from our firm about the compensation that may be available to you.

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The Sanders Law Firm is a New York personal injury practice with offices in Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.