(a.k.a. E. coli 0157)
Slogan: “On spinach leaf, or undercooked ground beef, I can cause children a world of grief.”
Habitat: Lives in the intestines of dairy and beef cattle. Can contaminate human food either directly in fields or during food processing.
Common food sources: Under-cooked beef (especially hamburger), unpasteurized milk and juice, raw fruits and vegetables (especially sprouts), and contaminated water.
Illness: It causes severe intestinal infection with bloody diarrhea. Can lead to severe kidney problems, especially in young children. The incubation period is 2-10 days. The bacteria can be excreted from infected individuals for one to three weeks. The disease is most severe in children.
How to avoid: Cook beef to 160 F. Wash all produce before eating it raw. Drink only pasteurized milk and apple cider. Wash hands before preparing or serving food.