New Hampshire has recently become the site of an E. coli Outbreak linked to ground beef that has sickened 12 residents starting from June 12. There is an ongoing investigation by local health officials to determine the exact source of the outbreak.
A notice released Friday by the New Hampshire’s bureau of infectious disease control suggests that the same strain of E. coli, 01257:H7, has been contracted by all the victims. They revealed that they became ill after the consumption of ground beef from several locations.
The Division of Public Health Services in New Hampshire has announced that they are working with The U.S. Department of Agriculture, who is the concerned authority for ground beef, to discover the source of infection. According to the Division’s acting director, Marcella Bobinsky:
“Ground beef is a known source of E. coli and it is important for people to avoid eating under-cooked ground beef whether at home or at a restaurant.”
She also mentioned that the bacteria is more susceptible to affect the young and the elderly, causing complex illnesses. The released notice suggested that the public isn’t in any danger from the outbreak if food safety standards are rigorously met. Those who prepare ground beef must ensure that every surface and instrument that came in contact with the raw meat should be thoroughly cleaned, and the ground beef should be cooked at the temperature of at least 160°F or 70°C.
The bacteria Escherichia coli, simply known as E. coli, typically lives in the intestines of animals and people. Most of its strains are harmless or just part of a normal intestinal tract of humans. The strain that caused the current outbreak is transmissible through food, water supply and contact with infected people or animals. It can cause diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.
Those affected with this type of E. coli strain should consume a lot of water and other fluids to avoid fatigue and dehydration. They also need to avoid anti-diarrheal drugs which slow down the digestive system preventing the elimination of the toxins from the body.
Have you even been affected by E. coli? How much attention do you give to the preparation of raw meat?
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