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smith-7 - Information on E. coli found on CDC website...

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Information on E. coli found on CDC website Escherichia coli is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person- to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. Consumers can prevent E. coli infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully. Because the organism lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated. What is Escherichia coli E. coli is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness. E. coli was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, most infections have come from eating undercooked ground beef. How is E. coli spread? The organism can be found on a small number of cattle farms and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Meat can become contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be thoroughly mixed into beef when it is ground. Bacteria present on the cow's udders or on equipment may get into raw milk. Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. Although the number of organisms required to cause disease is
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2011 for the course SFL 110 taught by Professor Annhardman during the Spring '10 term at BYU.

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smith-7 - Information on E. coli found on CDC website...

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