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 impaired kidney function or kidney failure.
How can infections be prevented?
- WASH YOUR HANDS thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers and before preparing or eating food. WASH YOUR HANDS after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
- COOK meats thoroughly.
- AVOID raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
- AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard “kiddie” pools.
- PREVENT cross contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.