E-Coli Food Poisoning
E- Coli is responsible for a large percentage of gastrointestinal illnesses ( food poisoning ) that occur during the year. It is a bacteria that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals. Fecal matter spreads E-Coli, and unclean food handling practices. When produce is harvested, a lot of times there is animal fecal matter in the field. Also farm hand workers use the restroom in the fields, and this spreads the E-Coli to the produce. In some countries where there is devastation, or where there isn’t proper sewage disposal E-Coli can also contaminate foods.
According to the Center for Disease control, “Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.” Older adults can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which is a bad urinary infrection which will kill older adults if they do not recieve medical attention.
There are several strains of E-Coli, some may cause bloody diarrhea, some may cause urinary tract infections. Some strains of E-Coli can cause death. It is important to practice healthy food preparation practices to prevent E-Coli poisoning.
Preparations in order to kill E-Coli are to wash all cooking dishes and utensils in soap and hot water. It is important to cook all foods and meats to certain temperatures to kill E-Coli. Food should be cooked to 160 degree F 71 degrees C in order to kill E-Coli.Do not let meat touch produce, because it can contaminate your meat. It is also very important to wash all produce including melons. A lot of people forget to wash melons, because melons are large.
One of the larger more recent outbreaks of E-Coli were among Cantaloupe. Many people don’t wash the Cantaloupes on the outside then they cut through it with a knife. The knife drags the E-Coli down through the melon contaminating it. Then when you eat it, you catch E-Coli poisoning. The young, the sick, and the elderly are more susceptible to death when catching E-Coli poisoning. It is very important to wash food, and practice clean health habits when preparing foods.