Escherichia coli O157:H7

(ee-sure-eek-ee-uh koh-lie O157:H7)
Escherichia coli O157:H7
About This nanobug

Nickname: E. coli O157:H7


Morphology: Gram-negative rod


Habitat: Lives in the intestines of dairy and beef cattle; can contaminate human food either directly in fields or during food processing


Disease or illness: It causes severe intestinal infection with bloody diarrhea. The toxins produced by these bacteria can also cause severe kidney problems.


Who is at risk: Anyone who eats contaminated food; the disease is most severe in children


Avoidance techniques: Cook beef to 160° F; wash all produce before eating it raw; drink only pasteurized milk and apple cider; wash hands before preparing food.


“On spinach leaf, or undercooked ground beef, I can cause children a world of grief.”