Resource Center





The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.




Search results for "bacteria" ...

  • Shattered Trust

    The public assumes sterile alcohol wipes are sterile or at least clean enough not to be dangerous. But an ongoing investigation in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found that wipes -- sterile and nonsterile -- can be dangerously contaminated, and federal regulators are not doing much to protect the public. When there are recalls, the public is not finding out because of lax communication and weak tools for regulators.

    Tags: alcohol wipes; public safety; bacteria; public health

    By Racquel Rutledge; Rick Barrett; John Diedrich; Ben Poston

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


  • "Fowl Play"

    In "Fowl Play," writer Tula Karras warns consumers of the potential dangers lurking in their chicken dinners. Arsenic and other harmful bacteria have been found in poultry, making it possible for those who consume it to become ill. Many chicken plants rely on "visual" safety "inspections" even though harmful bacteria cannot be seen by the "naked eye."

    Tags: Chicken; poultry; campy; campylobacter infection; arsenic; gastrointestinal; USDA; bacteria; pathogens

    By Tula Karras; Lee Helland; Erin Hobday; Patricia Singer; Carla Levy; Lucy S. Danziger

    Self (New York, NY)


  • Danger on Your Plate

    The Center for Investigative Reporting hired the food analysis lab of the Sarajevo Veterinary School to test food samples purchased in farmers' markets, food shops and stalls to determine food safety. Center reporters found problems with contamination, government inspection, labeling, waste, and NGO's that collect money but "really do little to guard consumers against bad food."

    Tags: food safety; Mad Cow Disease; CIN; Linking Agricultural Markets to Producers; LAMP; E.coli; proteus; alfotoxins; bacteria; fungi; food handling; TRACES animal tracking; smuggling; World Health Organization; Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations; EU

    By Mirsad Brkic; Mirza Bahic; Svjetlana Celic; Ida Donlagic; Zelijka Kujundzija; Gordana Lukic; Eldina Pleho; Lidja Pisker; Renata Radic

    Center for Investigative Reporting - Bosnia Herzegovina


  • Airport Bacteria

    KGTV sampled and tested the airport carpet and tile to find out just what passengers are exposed to in the security screening areas of Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Diego.

    Tags: airports; bacteria; security screening; germs;

    By Marti Emerald; Rett Lawrence; J W August; Kisten Castillo

    KGTV-TV (San Diego)


  • "Invisible Dangers"

    This investigation revealed that as many as 8,000-12,000 Canadians die every year after being infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, infections they contracted while in the hospital. Canadian hospitals offer little protection against such infections and there is no requirement that they report cases to the authorities. By contrast, the team traveled to the Netherlands and discovered that Dutch hospitals have virtually eradicated infections from these bacteria by means of much more aggressive programs of sanitation and control.

    Tags: Nosocomial infections; antibiotic-resistant bacteria; public health

    By Sandra Bartlett;Sujata Berry;Yvette Brend;Bilbo Poynter;Susanne Reber

    CBC New (Toronto, ON)


  • Recipe for Trouble

    This investigation brings to light the flaws in Pennsylvania's health inspection agencies. The reporters found major inconsistencies with how inspectors rated restaurants, determined that some restaurants had not been inspected in years, and found that the lax rules sometimes lead to repeat violations. The investigation includes a sidebar on food-borne illnesses, and a story on the effort it took to acquire and organize the data.

    Tags: bacteria; health inspections; inspectors; expired food; restaurants; eating establishments; salmonella; computer-assisted reporting; FOIA

    By Timothy Darragh;Christopher Schnaars

    Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)


  • Superbugs

    This story reveals that, not only are "superbugs" (bacteria that are resistant to existing antibiotics,) proliferating, but the major pharmaceutical companies are not developing new antibiotics to combat them. Bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics at such a rate that pharmaceutical companies find it more profitable to develop big sellers like Viagra that do not become obsolete.

    Tags: infectious disease; drug-resistant strains; FDA; MRSA; Texas Children's Hospital

    By Lesley Stahl;Karen Sughrue;Braden Bergen;Stephanie Palewski

    CBS News 60 Minutes


  • The Killer Strain: Anthrax and a Government Exposed

    Thompson's book investigates the U.S. government's failures and incompetencies during 2001's series of Anthrax attacks. The attacks killed five people and left thousands of Americans in fear. The investigation looks at how a number of government agencies from the CDC to the FBI have controlled information under the Bush Administration. "The Killer Strain is the definitive account of the year in which bioterrorism became a reality in the United States, exposing failures in judgement and a flawed understanding of the anthrax bacteria's capacity to kill."

    Tags: BOOK; Anthrax attacks; U.S. Postal Service; Center for Disease Control; National Security Council; USAMRIID; FOIA

    By Marilyn W. Thompson

    HarperCollins (New York)


  • Keeping an Eye on the Kitchens

    Hayward examined health inspections for restaurants and grocers in Manchester, NH. He reported not only the scores of the restaurants, but also what inspectors look for and which violations are the most troublesome. He profiled an inspector, a restaurant that scores well on inspections, and one that does poorly.

    Tags: restaurants; food safety; food industry; health inspections; bars; grocery stores; bacteria; food poisoning

    By John Toole;Mark Hayward

    New Hampshire Sunday News (Manchester, N.H.)


  • Suture Recalls

    KTVT-TV examines a problem with potentially contaminated sutures used in surgeries all over the U.S. The investigation reports on the complaints of hundreds of people who believe they have been infected this way. The vicryl sutures, produced by Ethicon, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, have been recalled and destroyed. "There was never a scientific test to prove whether or not they were contaminated," the program reports.

    Tags: TAPE; TRANSCRIPT; FDA; doctors; patients; surgery; operations; sterilization; microorganisms; bacteria; class action lawsuit

    By Ginger Allen;Robert Hall

    KTVT-TV (Dallas)