Everyday, people face many dangers that they do not even realize are a threat to them. One of these dangers is the e. coli bacteria. E. coli resides in animal intestinal tracts, and it is also found in feces. People face a risk of being infected by e. coli when they eat contaminated food. Food can become contaminated with e. coli if an animal releases feces into it, for example, or when someone handles food without washing his or her hands after going to the bathroom.
People who are infected with e. coli usually have some of the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea that can be bloody, and stomach cramps. Sometimes, a mild fever can occur as well. On average, symptoms appear within three to four days, though they can arise as early as one day or as late as 10 days after eating the contaminated food. It is important to note that e. coli contamination can be fatal. Some people develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in which the kidneys can stop functioning effectively. A symptom of HUS is exhaustion and lowered frequency of urination.
To ensure that food is not contaminated with e. coli, people can take a number of steps. For example, food should be cooked at high enough temperatures, and hands should be washed thoroughly every time after going to the bathroom. Also, not consuming any raw, unpasteurized dairy products or fruit juices is helpful.
Finally, it is important that people who prepare food for others ensure that the food is not contaminated with e. coli, because if it is and people get sick, they can sue the individuals who provided the bad food.