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Pathogen: E. Coli 0157:H7 - bacteria

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  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Little or no fever

Start of symptoms / how long they last

Symptoms usually

  • start within 3 to 4 days but can occur up to 10 days later
  • last from 5 to 10 days

How you can get sick

  • By eating or drinking
    • food or beverages contaminated with E. Coli O157:H7
    • unpasteurized (raw) milk and (raw) milk products
    • untreated water
  • Through contact with:
    • cattle or other farm animals
    • the feces of infected people
  • Through cross-contamination between raw meat and other food when you are preparing food
  • person or animal can carry the bacteria without showing symptoms of illness, and can spread it to foods, surfaces or other people.

Potential health impacts

  • Up to 15 percent of children infected, and a much smaller proportion of adults, develop Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). This is a type of kidney failure and blood disorder.
  • Most people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent kidney and other organ damage and complications, or may die.

Food commonly associated

  • Beef, raw and undercooked, ground and whole cuts
  • Unpasteurized apple juice or cider
  • Unpasteurized (raw) milk and (raw) milk products, such as raw milk cheese
  • Untreated drinking water
  • Contaminated raw fruit and vegetables that are not cooked (including alfalfa and bean sprouts)

How to protect yourself

  • Cook food to a safe internal temperature.
  • Use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food. Refer to the chart on page 5.
  • Eat and drink only pasteurized apple juice, cider, milk and milk products.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing or eating food.
  • Wash your hands after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, and fairs).
  • Drink water from a safe supply (treated or boiled water).
  • Keep raw food away from other food while shopping, and while storing, preparing and serving foods.

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Escherichia coli 0157:H7 Escherichia coli 0157:H7