Panasian Cuisine with A European Flair

The Food

The Restaurant – Sra Bua by Tim Raue, Berlin

Ise Lobster Chirashi Sushi

The Sushi

Ise Lobster (伊勢海老)

Don’t be Quick to Toss Your Toothbrush After A Sore Throat

Study shows bacteria that cause strep throat did not grow on toothbrushes of children diagnosed with the illness

Word on the street has it you should replace your toothbrush after suffering from a cold, the flu or a bout of strep throat. That may not be necessary — at least when it comes to sore throats, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 4, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Some health care professionals advise children to toss their toothbrushes if they have been diagnosed with strep throat. Researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston wanted to determine if that advice is warranted.

First, they tried to grow group A Streptococcus (GAS), the bacteria that causes strep throat, on toothbrushes that had been exposed to the bacteria in a laboratory. The bacteria did in fact grow and remained on the toothbrushes for at least 48 hours.

Surprisingly, two new toothbrushes that were not exposed to GAS and served as controls also grew bacteria even though they had been removed from their packaging in a sterile fashion. An adult-size toothbrush grew gram-negative bacilli, and a child-size toothbrush grew gram-positive cocci, which was identified as Staphylococcus. Since this was not the main focus of the study, the researchers did not investigate this finding further.

Next, they investigated whether GAS would grow on toothbrushes used by children who had strep throat. Fourteen patients who were diagnosed with strep throat, 13 patients with sore throats without strep and 27 well patients ages 2 to 20 years were instructed to brush their teeth for one minute with a new toothbrush. Afterwards, the toothbrushes were placed in a sterile cover and taken to a lab where they were tested for GAS bacteria growth.

GAS was recovered from only one toothbrush, which had been used by a patient without strep throat. The other study toothbrushes failed to grow GAS but did grow other bacteria that are common in the mouth.

“This study supports that it is probably unnecessary to throw away your toothbrush after a diagnosis of strep throat,” said co-author Judith L. Rowen, MD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at UTMB.

Source: EurekAlert!

Vegetarian Hot and Spicy Frozen Tofu


1 pack soft tofu, about 1 lb
1/2 can sliced button mushroom, drained
1/2 tbsp chili soybean
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
2 stalks green onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp sesame oil


1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp sugar
1 cup water
dash ground white pepper


1 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vinegar


  1. Blanch soft tofu in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool and put in freezer overnight.
  2. Defrost frozen tofu with water. Rinse, drain and cut into pieces.
  3. Sauté mushroom with 2 tbsp oil in a wok. Add ginger, garlic and chili soybean. Toss briefly.
  4. Add seasoning and bring to a boil. Mix in tofu and simmer over medium low heat until the sauce is reduced by half.
  5. Add sesame oil and thickening. Cook until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with green onion. Toss to combine. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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