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E. Coli -What You Can Do

E. Coli Report

According to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS):

  • Children under the age of 5 are particularly susceptible to E.  coli 0157:H7 bacteria.
  • While the bacteria can be spread through food, it can also be transmitted by person-to-person contact.  Adults or children with diarrhea caused by E. coli 0157:H7, can easily spread the illness to others.  It only takes a few E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria to make people sick.
  • E. coli 0157:H7 has been most frequently linked to improperly cooked ground beef, but it has also been found in a variety of other foods including unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized apple cider and vegetables.  It has also been traced to a variety of sites other than restaurants.
  • Approximately 5 percent of those who become ill as a result of  E. coli 0157:H7, especially children, progress to a life-threatening blood disorder called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).  About 15 percent of these patients die or suffer chronic kidney failure.

From USDA/FSIS, Food Safety Education Branch

What You Can Do

One symptom of E. coli 0157:H7 food poisoning is bloody diarrhea.  The

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that young children and their playmates that are not toilet trained are especially likely to spread the infection.  Medical treatment for the child is necessary.  Consult the health department for advice on preventing the spread of infection if a child develops bloody diarrhea.

Proper hand washing procedures for both food preparers and children are extremely important.  For children: careful hand washing with soap and warm water for 20 seconds will reduce the risk of spreading the infection.  For young children, frequent supervised hand washing with soap is particularly important.  Children should always wash their hands before eating.

For food preparers: wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds (count to 30) before you handle food or food utensils.  Wash your hands after handling or preparing food, especially after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or eggs.  Right after you prepare these raw foods, clean the utensils and surfaces you used with hot soapy water.  Replace cutting boards once they have become worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves.  Wash raw fruits and vegetables under running water before eating.  Use a vegetable brush to remove surface dirt if necessary.  Always wash your hands after using the restroom.