WSU Extension

Food Safety

Bugs that make you sick - Escherichia coli 0157:H7 infections

 

Cause : Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Bacteria are found in the manure of cattle and other ruminant animals.

Examples of foods involved : Undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized (raw) milk, unpasteurized juices, raw fruits and vegetables.

Transmission : Eating foods contaminated with the bacteria, from person-to-person contact with an infected person who has some on his or her hands or by touching animals who carry the bacteria. E. coli 0157:H7 has a low infective dose; possibly as few as 10 bacteria can make you sick.

Symptoms : Severe diarrhea that is often bloody, abdominal pain and vomiting. Usually little or no fever. Complications include kidney failure and death.

Onset : 1-8 days.

Duration : 5-10 days.

Prevention : Use a thermometer to make sure that meat and poultry (including ground) are cooked to safe temperatures.  Cook ground meats to 160°F (71.1°C) and either cook patties on a double sided grill or else turn patties frequently when cooking on a pan or grill that cooks on only one side.  Wash hands well after touching raw meat, using the toilet, changing a diaper, or touching animals.  Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them.  Wash knives, cutting boards, and food preparations surfaces with hot water and soap after contact with raw meat.  Use water from a safe water supply for drinking and food preparation.  Drink only pasteurized milk and fruit juices.  Do not eat raw alfalfa sprouts or other raw sprouts.

Bugs that make you sick:

Bacteria
Virus
Parasite
   

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