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The truth about E. Coli

What causes an E Coli outbreak? Our food is allegedly moderated closely by the Food and Drug Administration, but how can we be sure if we are actually being safe about what is going into our bodies?

On November 20, 2015, Taylor Farms recalled 71 products that could contain E. Coli. The first sample was collected from a celery and onion mix collected from a Montana Cosco. According to the CDC 19 ill people have been reported in seven states.

What exactly causes this outbreak? How does something so small cause illness, possible death, and sometimes millions of dollars? According to the Mayo Clinic E. Coli can cause illness even if it is ingested in a small amount. The way one can get sick from E. Coli is consumption of contaminated food, water, or contact with a contaminated individual.

According to the FDA E. Coli typically plays an important role in the human body by suppressing the growth of bad bacteria and synthesizing vitamins, however, certain strains can cause major problems.

The four main ways one can consume harmful E. Coli is from undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk, fresh produce that could have come in contact with cattle runoff, and contaminated water that pollutes the lakes and rivers used to irrigate crops. Lettuce and spinach are even more susceptible to this because of the amount of water they need to grow successfully.

Though they do not know exactly what has caused this outbreak yet, there are some ways to help prevent yourself for getting sick. Make sure to wash your utensils, keep raw foods, such as meats, separate, and wash your hands often when cooking. This helps to protect you and others around you from developing this illness.

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