Acute hospitals fail hygiene test
Only 5 out of 51 acute hospital trusts in England passed a hygiene check carried out by the NHS watchdog. The Healthcare Commission found the majority failed to meet standards introduced to fight hospital infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. While most failures did not pose an immediate risk to patients, it said nearly all the trusts had to do more to control the spread of infections.
MRSA deaths may see health bosses charged
(The Independent 06/10/2008)
Directors of hospitals where patients have died from superbug infections because of failures by senior management will be prosecuted under new manslaughter laws, ministers have told NHS chiefs. The warning follows a number of high-profile investigations into MRSA and other superbug deaths which have failed to lead to any charges. Under tough new manslaughter laws, corporations face unlimited fines.
Fears grow that MRSA variant has entered food chain
(The Independent 03/06/2008)
British people have been infected for the first time by an animal variant of MRSA, the hospital superbug that infects more than 4,000 patients a year.
USA – Today - “Let your kids know that the viruses and bacteria that cause runny noses, fevers, diarrhea and missed soccer games are all over the desks, door-knobs and computer keyboards at school. Their hands touch the germs and then transport them to their eyes, noses and mouths. The rest is, well, sickening. So tell them to make frequent use of soap and water or, if that's inconvenient, to carry instant hand sanitizer in their pockets”.
Food poisoning – a BBC News report
As many mothers have long suspected, teenagers really are strangers to soap.
A survey has found almost half do not always wash their hands after they have been to the toilet at school or before eating, putting them at risk of food poisoning.
The most common reasons for not washing their hands were not having time, because the toilets were dirty or simply because they forgot
Martin Paterson, deputy director general of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "Kids' hand-washing habits are a potential recipe for disaster.
"Whilst most teenagers understand how food poisoning can be caused, they're not taking the simple precautions to prevent it."
He added: "Of course teenagers don't want to be nannied, but with up to 5.5million cases of food poisoning a year, we clearly need to keep plugging away with simple food hygiene messages in fun and imaginative ways, to remind people of all ages how they can continue to enjoy their food safely."
Hugh Pennington, professor of microbiology at Aberdeen University said: "The best news about food safety is that one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to do it properly.
"The bad news is that even a simple and obvious thing like hand washing - which protects incredibly well - is seen by many people as good health theory, but not actually put it into practice."
Judith Hilton, head of food safety for the Food Standards Agency, said: "Hand washing is a simple thing everyone can do to reduce the risk of poisoning themselves or others.