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Not Washing Hands After This Is Worse Than Eating Raw Meat

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

proper hand washing technique

Story at-a-glance -

  • There are a lot of types of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria, ranging from harmless to antibiotic-resistant superbugs; recent tests involve a particularly virulent strain
  • The bacteria, extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing E. coli (ESBL- E. coli), is responsible for 5,000 cases of bacteremia in the U.K. every year, leading researchers to call for prudent use of antibiotics to stem the tide of resistant organisms
  • Exposure to antibiotics may come from prescription medications as well as the meat you consume
  • Handwashing is your first line of defense against infection; use proper techniques before and after handling food, after caring for others and when your hands are visibly dirty

The lack of sanitation in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) is something I’ve written about in the past. The deplorable conditions under which the animals exist require the use of antibiotics to reduce the spread of infection. The meat and waste products from these animals are riddled with antibiotics, a practice that is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance.

One of the biggest Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreaks in 12 years ended in June 2018 after infected lettuce had affected 210 people in 36 states. It was responsible for the hospitalization of 96 and the deaths of five. The FDA believes the source of the bacteria in the romaine lettuce was from runoff from a local CAFO farm.


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