Before you shake E. coli’s hand, you may want to learn a little more about this microscopic hairy acquaintance.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of people and animals. Most E. coli are harmless and actually are an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli are pathogenic (this is a bad thing), meaning they can cause illness, like diarrhea (we’ve ALL been there), or even death (Def not there yet). The types of E. coli that can cause diarrhea (or death) can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or persons.
Some kinds of E. coli bacteria cause disease when they make a toxin called Shiga toxin. The bacteria that make these toxins are called “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC for short.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year STEC causes approximately 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in the United States. This is serious PEOPLE!!! These little bugs can kill!
Undelighted to make its acquaintance? Wash Your Hands!! And not just when you go number 2…..Yes, I said it!
WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food.
- WASH YOUR HANDS after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
- COOK meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160°F/70˚C. It’s best to use a thermometer, as color is not a very reliable indicator of “doneness”.
- AVOID raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
- AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard “kiddie” pools.
PREVENT cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
**Recent E. coli recall**
The Soynut Butter Co has expanded its recall to all I.M. Healthy Soynut Butters and I.M. Healthy Granola because they may be contaminated with E. coli. This recall began on March 7th, 2017.
As of March 7th, 2017, if you have this in your pantry or refrigerator, you may want to throw it away…you’ve been warned!!
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