HIGH RISK OF INFECTION: Raclette or fondue can make you sick

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They are probably the most popular dishes at Christmas or on New Year’s Eve: raclette or fondue. And in Austria, too, the dishes, which actually originate from Switzerland, are often served. But now the German Robert Koch Institute warns: The risk of infection during the fun table cooking is not to be underestimated …

According to a recent survey, raclette is on the Christmas table for just under one-fifth of Austrians. But now Germany’s health watchdogs are warning against the communal festive feast. But anyone who now thinks of the coronavirus (which of course should not be underestimated) is wrong. Because even though infectious aerosols can of course spread well in cozy table gatherings, this time it is bacteria that the RKI is warning against.

Diarrhea after Raclette consumption
In the scientific journal “Scientific Reports” scientists of the RKI report namely of a direct connection between the infection with the diarrheal disease Campylobacter enteritis and the previous consumption of Raclette or Fondue. A review of people who had become infected with the bacteria showed that a strikingly large number had chosen this Christmas meal, the researchers said.

This is because the pathogens that cause the disease, which is often accompanied by fever in addition to diarrhea and abdominal pain, are usually found on raw meat, especially chicken. While chicken is harmless when cooked or boiled, it can become a source of infection if touched with bare fingers in its raw state. Therefore, the following applies: under no circumstances should raw meat be left unrefrigerated on the table for too long; in addition, it should not be touched with bare hands by more than one person.

By the way, the RKI’s safety instructions also apply to anyone preparing poultry dishes at Christmas and newy Year: After touching raw meat, you should always wash your hands thoroughly, because germs often enter the human organism via this route. So if you observe the basics of hygiene in the kitchen and at the table, you should be able to enjoy the holidays without any stomach aches.

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