How do I prevent E. coli O157:H7 infections?
Cook ground beef and hamburger thoroughly. Because ground beef can turn brown before disease-causing bacteria are killed, cook until a digital instant-read meat thermometer inserted into several parts of the patty, including the thickest part, reads at least 160°F. Persons who cook ground beef without using a thermometer can decrease their risk of illness by not eating ground beef patties that are still pink in the middle. All items that have come in contact with bloody juices from the beef should be washed immediately; other food items contaminated with these juices should be thoroughly cooked as well.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables, especially those that will not be cooked, thoroughly under running water. Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating it, it is still wise to wash it first.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink milk, juice, or cider only if it has been pasteurized. Avoid wellwater or other untreated water sources.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after bowel movements or changing diapers.
  • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water while swimming.
  • Avoid swimming in public pools or lakes or bathing with others if you have diarrhea.
For additional information on Escherichia coli O157:H7, please see:

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