Survival of Harmful Bacteria in Cookies, Sandwich Crackers for Months Found in Study

The researchers belonging to the University of Georgia have found that the pathogens including salmonella have survival rates of at least six months in crackers and cookies. This recent study was prompted by the rise in the number of occurrences of foodborne diseases that are linked to the dry or low water activity foods. Larry Beuchat, the food safety researcher at the University of Georgia is also a researcher at the UGA Collect of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences led a study to find how long the bacteria can cause food borne diseases that can survive in some foods that are very dry.

David Mann, the co-author of the study, is a research professional in the center who found that not only the harmful bacteria can survive in the dry foods such as cracker sandwiches and cookies, but also they can survive for a long time in such foodstuff. For the study, the researchers used five stereotypes of salmonella that were isolated from foods that were involved in earlier foodborne outbreaks. Beuchat stated that the isolates were from the food stuff having very low moisture content. The researchers focused on cookie and cracker sandwiches. They put the salmonella into four different kinds of fillings that are found in the crackers or cookies and then placed them into the storage containers. They also used peanut butter and cheese fillings and vanilla and chocolate fillings for the cracker sandwiches and cookie sandwiches respectively.

Beuchat stated that these were the type of food that we find in the grocery stores and vending machines. After storage, the UGA scientists found out how long the salmonella bacteria can survive in these different fillings. This way, they have got to know that salmonella survived longer in specific types of fillings than in the others. The salmonella could survive better in cookie sandwiches than in cracker sandwiches. In certain cases, the pathogen could survive up to six months in these sandwiches, and the result was unexpected.

Is There Breast or Ovarian Cancer in Your Family? Consult a Doctor

If your family has a bad history of ovarian or breast cancer, you need to talk to your doctor about the same as you can be at a great risk of developing any of these types of cancer. You should discuss with your doctor about the required genetic counseling and testing. Genetic counseling and testing can help understand the risk of developing cancer. Doctors do not recommend genetic testing for women in general, but they want you to consider the same only if you are subjected to the following.

• A close member has breast cancer before 50 years of age or in both breasts
• A couple or more of your close family members had cancer (breast or ovarian)
• A family member had both ovarian and breast cancer
• You have an Eastern European Jewish inheritance

Of course, genetic testing cannot really tell you if you will develop cancer or not, but it can indicate if there is a high risk of cancer. In case, you at high risk, you can receive the necessary treatment to help reduce the risk. Genetic counseling means a trained health professional will talk with you about the family’s health history. There are some diseases like breast cancer and ovarian cancer that run in the families. The genetic counseling process will help you decide whether you need to get genetic tests done.

Genetic tests will help the doctors analyze for any changes in your genes. In case, you have a mutation in specific genes including BRCA1 or BRCA2, you are likely to get breast or ovarian cancer. If you are a high risk of developing breast cancer, you need to take the necessary drugs that will help you lower the risk of cancer. This process is called chemoprevention. Tamoxifen and raloxifene are the two drugs that are approved by the FDA, and these drugs will help you lower the risk associated with breast developing cancer. Of course, there are side effects and risks due to the consumption of these drugs, so your doctor should be consulted about your risk of cancer and the possible prevention options.

When it comes to the cost that is involved in genetic counseling and testing, the services that women who have a higher risk of getting breast cancer should consider getting counseling on BRCA genetic testing and breast cancer chemoprevention. Based on your insurance plan, you will be able to get the counseling at no cost.

Steps that you Should Take to Prevent Skin Cancer

The best possible way to prevent the emergence of skin cancer is to defend your skin from exposure to the sun and other ultraviolet ray sources. In order to protect your skin from exposure to the sun, you should do the following.

· Try to stay in the shade between 10 AM to 4 PM
· Use a sunscreen that has SPF 15 or higher
· Cover your body with long pants or skirt, long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses

You can also safeguard your skin by preventing indoor tanning.

If you wonder why you should protect your skin, you need to know that protecting your skin today might help in preventing the chances of skin cancer later in your life. Most skin cancer emerges after the age of 50 years. However, the damage to the skin due to the sun can start from the childhood. You need to take necessary steps to prevent the occurrence of skin cancer. These steps will also prevent the following issues, and they are,

· Blotches or spots on the skin
· Damage to your eyes and skin
· Wrinkles

In the U.S., skin cancer is the frequent type of cancer, and there are three major kinds of skin cancer, and these are,

· Melanoma
· Basal cell carcinoma
· Squamous cell carcinoma

Of these three, melanoma is the most hazardous skin cancer type. As skin cancer can be treated when diagnosed in the early stages, it is good to check your skin on a regular basis for new growths such as lumps or moles and changes in the old ones.

The ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the major cause of this type of cancer. The UV radiation also comes from tanning booths, tanning beds, and sunlamps.

People who are at high risk of skin cancer are those with blond or red hair, light colored or white skin with freckles and blue or green eyes. Those who have unusual moles, a family history of melanoma or a large number of moles such as 50 or more are at higher risks of developing the melanoma type of skin cancer.