What can I do to protect myself and my family from E. coli?

Follow these tips to prevent E. coli infection:

  • Cook ground beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Measure the temperature by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.
  • Do not eat ground beef that is still pink in the center. If a restaurant serves you under-cooked hamburger, send it back for more cooking. Ask for a fresh bun and clean plate, too.
  • In your kitchen, keep raw meat away from other foods. Wash hands, cutting boards, countertops, dishes, knives and forks in hot, soapy water after contact with raw meat, spinach greens or sprouts. Wash the meat thermometer after use.
  • Never put cooked meat back onto the plate they were on before cooking.
  • Avoid non-pasteurized milk, milk products, cheeses, juices and ciders.
  • Drink water from safe sources, such as municipal water that has been treated, well water that has been tested, or bottled water.
  • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water while swimming.
  • During an outbreak of E. coli, follow instructions given by public health officials.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables well under running water.
  • Boil fresh vegetables for 1 full minute before serving.
  • Always wash your hands well after using the bathroom and before handling food or drink.

Show All Answers

1. What is E. coli?
2. How can I tell if I have an E. coli infection?
3. Is E. coli infection dangerous?
4. How is E. coli spread?
5. What can I do to protect myself and my family from E. coli?