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Don't wash chickens, obesity crisis is costing hospitals and a cure for tinnitus?

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Monday 16 June

The Food Standards Agency is warning people not to wash chicken before cooking it – because this splashes campylobacter bacteria around the kitchen, the Daily Mail reports.

The agency’s concerns are linked to a survey it carried out, which revealed that 44% of cooks always wash their chicken, wrongly believing that it helps get rid of germs. But the Food Standards Agency said that spreading campylobacter causes illness in households and costs the economy and the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds a year in sick leave.

FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said: ‘Although people tend to follow recommended practice when handling poultry, such as washing hands after touching raw chicken and ensuring it is thoroughly cooked, our research found that washing raw chicken is also common practice.’

Hospitals have been forced to by specialist equipment to keep bodies cool because they are too big to fit into the standard size fridges in their mortuaries.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained figured showing that the UK’s obesity crisis has resulted in hospitals spending at least £5.5m in three years on adaptations for treating larger patients. Yeovil District Hospital has spent £15,000 on a bariatric body store fridge.

Dr Matthew Capehorn, a GP and clinical director of the Rotherham Institute for Obesity, said: ‘This spending is likely to increase. We know we haven’t managed to stop the ever increasing rise in obesity levels.’

Researchers in Australia may have found a cure to tinnitus after tests on guinea pigs, reports the Daily Express.

A team from the University of Western Australia argues that a drug called furosemide could be the key, in that it lowers the activity of the auditory nerve, reducing neural hyperactivity in a specific part of the brain that processes sound.

Lead researcher Dr Helmy Mulders said: ‘Studies in human tinnitus sufferers are still needed to confirm our results, but lowering the activity of the auditory nerve may be a promising approach.’

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