- December 29, 2015
- Posted by: emobile
- Category: Uncategorized
The reported cases of E coli outbreaks in U.S are increasing daily and the causes of these outbreaks are all within reach and thus very important to take necessary precautions.
What is E Coli?
It is actually called Escherichia coli, found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms; human and animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some stereotypes can cause serious food poisoning in their hosts, and are majorly responsible for the present outbreak in U.S.
E coli can be an essential organism to humans .The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2 and preventing colonization of the intestine with pathogenic bacteria. E. coli is expelled into the environment after poo. The bacterium grows massively in fresh poo under aerobic conditions for 3 days, but its numbers decline slowly afterwards. The cells are able to survive outside the body for a limited amount of time, which makes them potential indicator organisms for environmental contamination and environmental pollution. The present outbreaks abroad suggest the contamination of many food produce, unpasteurized dairy products, and apple cider are among others, says Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, professor of health policy and management at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health.
Harmful E coli can lead to food poisoning, bloody diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and certain kidney failure. Fresh produce products, diary, meat, chicken vegetables etc. are all at risk of E coli. Meats can get contaminated with the bacteria during slaughter if the feces touch the meat. Cow feces can be washed down by rain and contaminate the vegetables in the farm. Milk can be contaminated if it has touched the cow feces.
E coli can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which leads to kidney failure in 10% of those affected and Montezuma’ revenge also known as traveler diarrhea which can be treated by drinking fluids and having enough rest. The symptoms such as vomiting and fever are not of much concerned when compared to bloody diarrhea which requires medical attention.
To avoid E coli it is important to choose restaurant wisely. We are all familiar with the good ones that cook foods in a hygienic manner. The market environment where we buy our fresh produce has to be cleaned. It also important to avoid unpasteurized dairy foods and apple cider and cook beef thoroughly to 160 degrees to eliminate all bacteria. Sorting of food inside the refrigerator is equally important. Don’t put fresh meat above cooked items or juice as the food can be contaminated with infected blood from the meat.