What is E. Coli
E. Coli or Escherichia coli bacterium resides in the intestine which causes E. coli infection. E. coli is a common type of bacteria that can get into your food, like beef and vegetables and lives inside our intestines. Most of these gram negative rod shaped E. coli bacteria are not harmful to your body and helps in producing Vitamin K2 that helps in preventing other harmful bacteria within the intestine. The strange thing about E. Coli – as well as many other bacteria - is that it is not always harmful to you. It helps your body break down and digest the food that you take. Unfortunately, there are certain types or strains of E. coli that can get from the intestines into the blood. This is a rare illness and it can cause a very serious infection and sometimes serious food poisoning.
How can you get infected?
Most E. coli infections usually come from:
1. Eating undercooked ground beef, when the inside of the beef is still pink.
2. Drinking contaminated (impure) water
3. Drinking unpasteurized (raw) milk
4. Working with cattle.
Here are some symptoms of someone who has E. coli infection:
1. Bad stomach cramps and belly pain
3. Diarrhea, sometimes with blood in it
How can you avoid getting E. coli infection?
Prevention is better than cure. Prevent this E. coli infection by handling and cooking meat in a safe way.
1. Use soap and wash your hands carefully before you start cooking.
2. Cook ground beef until you see no pink anywhere.
3. While you are cooking do not taste small bites of raw ground beef.
4. Do not place or put cooked hamburgers on a plate that had raw ground beef on it before. Place your cooked hamburgers to separate clean plate.
5. All hamburgers should be cooked to at least 155°F. If possible, use a meat thermometer to help you test your hamburgers.
6. Always defrost your meats in the refrigerator or the microwave. Do not let meat sit on the counter and wait for it to defrost.
7. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods.
8. Use hot water and soap to wash cutting boards and dishes if raw meat and poultry have touched them. If possible use a separate cutting board for meat and vegetables.
9. Do not drink raw milk.
10. Keep food refrigerated or frozen.
11. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
12. Always refrigerate your leftovers right away or throw them away.
13. If you have diarrhea then you should wash your hands carefully and often, using hot water and soap, and wash your hands for at least 30 seconds.
14. People who work in day care centers and homes for the elderly should wash their hands often, too.
15. In restaurants, always ask your hamburgers to be cooked well done so that no pink shows.