What is E.coli and what should we be doing to prevent it from impacting the safety of our food and restaurant? Dave Shumaker, Microbiologist


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), defines E.coli as follows:

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are commonly found in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Many strains promote healthy functions, but some can cause illness.

  • Transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with fecal matter, including dairy, meats, unpasteurized foods and untreated water.

  • Taking proper hygiene precautions and avoiding unpasteurized foods can help reduce outbreaks of E. Coli.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov/ecoli

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The Facts on E. Coli

There are hundreds of strains of E. coli out there, and the pathogen affects a large number of people each year. Consuming unpasteurized goods, undercooked meats, or contaminated raw items like sprouts and lettuce are some of the most common ways to transmit these germs, with symptoms showing up 2-5 days after exposure to the bacteria.

Source: Minnesota Department of Health

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Information About E. Coli

E. Coli can be found in a number of places, including water, soil, insects and food contaminated with fecal material. There are multiple strains of this pathogen, and E. Coli can survive – and even grow slowly – at low temperatures and under acidic conditions, making it particularly resilient and difficult to eliminate. Get the basics on E. Coli and find out how to identify symptoms, and prevent an outbreak.

Source: Steritech

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Information About E.Coli

E. coli is one of the more common foodborne illnesses, but despite that, it can still create severe cases of foodborne illness. Often found in animal products like beef, E. coli can be transmitted through raw and undercooked food and poor food safety practices. Although food processing facilities and restaurants are aware of the risks, and protocols are in place, operators should still take extra care around meat products.

Source: Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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