E. Coli 0157:H7

- What is E. Coli 0157:H7, and what is it's source?
• Answer: E. Coli 0157:H7 is a virulent strain of the E. Coli bacteria. It occurs naturally in the intestines of cattle.

• It has been the cause of thousands of illnesses and dozens of deaths each year around the world. It causes bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in some, life-threatening kidney failure.

The CDC estimates that 10,000 to 20,000 Americans become infected with E. Coli each year and about 250 die.

Ten to 20 percent of those cases are linked to hamburger.

E. coli is most often linked with contamination with human or cattle feces.

• E. Coli can be killed if ground beef is cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and steak and other non-ground cuts of beef cooked to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

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