E coli 0157 and what you should know to protect your Family?


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Carl Copeland, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

"Ecoli can be prevented with the right Food Handling practices"

Just a few facts for you,e Coli 0157,:H7 is a leading cause of foodborne illness.

We all have heard of E Coli 0157 (Escherichia coli O157:H7) on the news, but do we ever think that we could ever encounter this Foodborne illness? Believe it or not this doesn’t only come from the farm animals and contaminated produce.

As a Food Storage, Food Preparation, and Food Safety website we believe that it is our responsibility to educate our customers and visitors with this important information.

E coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless, this strain produces a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness. E coli O157:H7 has been found in the intestines of healthy cattle, deer, goats, and sheep.

The E Coli organism can be found on most cattle farms and on petting farms as the organism can live in the intestines of cattle, goats, deer, and sheep. Bacteria present on the cow's udders or on equipment may get into raw milk. As far as the petting zoos the organisms can be on the railings, feeding equipment, or the animals fur.

Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli O157:H7 can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. The number of organisms required to cause disease is very small.

Among other known sources of infection are consumption of sprouts, lettuce, spinach, salami, unpasteurized milk and juice, and by swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water.

Bacteria in loose stool of infected persons can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or hand washing(Great for the kids as adults should know better) habits are inadequate.

People generally become ill from E. coli O157:H7 two to eight days (average of 3-4) after being exposed to the bacteria. Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms at all. Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in 5 to 10 days.

Remember that whenever you feel sick, make sure you see a doctor or physician if you believe it is not your common cold, I should take my own advice.

Facts: Just to give you an idea of the amount of people this foodborne disease affects;

Based on a 1999 estimate, 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. In the ten CDC Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites (which represent 15% of the US population), there was a 29% decline in E. coli O157:H7 infection since 1996-98.

During 1998--2002, a total of 6,647 outbreaks of foodborne disease were reported (1,314 in 1998, 1,343 in 1999, 1,417 in 2000, 1,243 in 2001, and 1,330 in 2002). These outbreaks caused a reported 128,370 persons to become ill.

Did You Know?

Ecoli urinary tract infection can be caused when ecoli bacteria seeps into the uretha and causes an urine infection particularly in girls.

Hollywood actor Johnny Depps daughter had a battle with serious strain of ecoli that shut down her kidneys and had her battling for her life (ecoli is no joke)

Look out for your pets 69% of 101 dogs had some form of ecoli listing multiple ecoli urine infections in puppies.

Keep that litter box clean as Escherichia coli (commonly called E. coli) can infect humans thru contact with feline fecal material, although the primary means of infection is thru ingestion or raw or undercooked meats.

The majority of this information was obtained from the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as we are not Doctors or Scientists we believe that any information of this nature should come from the experts.