What is E. coli O157:H7 and how can I keep food safe from it?
E. coli is naturally present in the intestines of animals which can contaminate muscle meat at slaughter. This particular strain of E. coli produces a disease in humans called Hemorrhagic Colitis. The disease can cause serious illness and death, especially in children. To keep your foods free of E. coli, cook ground beef thoroughly to 160°F. Also, do not cross-contaminate. Bacteria in raw meat juices can contaminate ready-to-eat foods. Hands or kitchen equipment can also spread the bacteria.
Shannon Crosby, Dietetic Intern,
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009