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Food Poisoning Raises Crohn's Disease Risk

Food Poisoning Raises Crohn's Disease Risk

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By    |   Monday, 10 October 2016 02:52 PM

People with a type of bacterium that food poisoning causes may be at a higher risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, a new study shows.

Crohn’s disease is a painful and debilitating bowl disease characterized by inflammation of the intestines. About 700,000 Americans have this digestive disorder and an estimated 70 percent will eventually require surgery, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation says.

Using a mouse model of Crohn’s disease, researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, discovered that acute infectious gastroenteritis caused by common food-poisoning bacteria accelerates the growth of adherent-invasive E. coli (AIEC)  – a bacterium that has been linked to the development of Crohn's.

These findings underscore another reason to do everything possible to avoid food poisoning, says Brian Coombes, the study’s senior author.

"This is a lifelong disease that often strikes people in their early years, leading to decades of suffering, an increased risk of colorectal cancer, and an increased risk of premature death," he notes.

Coombes hopes the study, which is published in PLOS Pathogens, can guide further research that will help determine which people are at risk after a bout of food poisoning.

"We need to understand the root origins of this disease -- and to use this information to invigorate a new pipeline of treatments and preventions. It has never been more pressing,” he added.

Food contamination and spoilage can result in the presence of bacteria that cause food poisoning. Although sometimes food is contaminated during the manufacturing process, this problem can also occur in the home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests these four steps for avoiding food poisoning:

  1. Wash your hands and food-preparation surfaces often. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.
  2. Don't cross-contaminate. Even after you've cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread germs to ready-to-eat foods—unless you keep them separate.
  3. Cook to the correct temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to cool for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
  4. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate foods promptly. Germs can grow in many foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them. (During the summer heat, cut that time down to 1 hour.)

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A new study finds that the risk of developing Crohn's disease may increase for people who have ever had a bout of food poisoning.
Crohns, disease, food, poisoning, digestion
Monday, 10 October 2016 02:52 PM
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