Escherichia Coli 0157:H7

What is E. coli O157:H7?

E. coli is a bacteria commonly found in cattle feces. According to Centers for Disease Control estimates, up to 20,400 cases of E. coli infection and 500 deaths from E. coli disease occur annually in the United States. Nearly three-quarters of all cases are directly linked to ground beef.

What can you do to keep your family safe - - or at least, safer - - from the possibility of E. coli contamination? First of all, don't eat undercooked hamburger. When preparing hamburger at home, cook ground beef until the interior is no longer pink and the juices run clear. Separate dishes and utensils that have come into contact with uncooked ground beef, so they don't contaminate other foods. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meats.

If someone in your family develops symptoms of E. coli infection, see your physician for treatment immediately. Rapid medical intervention can save lives; it can also help prevent additional infections.

More Information on E. coli 0157:H7:


  • Article History
    • Revision Date: 6/22/2010

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Improper handling of raw meat, poultry, and seafood can create an inviting environment for cross-contamination. As a result, bacteria can spread to food and and other surfaces throughout the kitchen. Keeping uncooked meat, poultry, and seafood away from ready-to-eat foods like fruits, vegetables, and cold cuts helps prevent pathogens and other bacteria from contaminating the ready-to-eat foods.

Source: Partnership for Food Safety Education

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