How can E. coli infections be prevented?

E. coli are bacteria that live in the digestive tracts of all people and animals. If they get transmitted to the wrong part of the body, such as the urinary tract or mouth, they can cause severe illness. Preventing E. coli infection can be done by using appropriate hygiene and food safety. For example, hand washing with soap after going to the bathroom, changing diapers, cooking, handling garbage or petting animals can reduce risk of infection. Avoiding contaminated foods, washing fruits and vegetables well, and and avoiding raw meats, seafood and eggs are important steps. Be sure to wash the kitchenware used to handle potentially contaminated foods well. Lastly, if you happen to have diarrhea caused by E. coli, it is best to take care to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly after every bathroom visit and minimize both direct and indirect contact to avoid passing it on to others.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

No matter how rare you like your hamburger, you value your health more. So ask for ground beef to be cooked well, and do the same at home (all meat should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that bacteria are killed). Thaw meat in your refrigerator (not on the counter or in the sink), and store it on the bottom shelf in a leak-proof container, so bacteria-laden juice won't drip onto other foods.

Escherichia coli (E. coli) can double their numbers in just 45 minutes in your warm, cozy kitchen, so make it less hospitable for them. Before and after meal prep, clean your counters, cutting boards, and sink with a daily-made solution of one jigger of bleach to a quart of water. Or use a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water in a spray bottle. Because towels can harbor E. coli and spread it around, use a paper towel to wipe surfaces clean, and throw it away.

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Make sure you are eating clean, well-cooked foods and wash your hands often.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.