How can I prevent E. coli infection?
The risk of an E. coli infection can be reduced by using safe food preparation methods, including the following:
- Avoid undercooked foods.
- Use a food thermometer when cooking meat, and cook it to at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t “cross-contaminate” a cooking surface. If you had raw meat or chicken on a cooking surface, such as a cutting board, wash it thoroughly with soap and water before putting another type of food (such as a raw vegetable) on it.
- Use plastic or ceramic cutting boards to cut raw meat, as they can be cleaned more effectively than wooden cutting boards.
- Don’t put a cooked hamburger on a plate that has had raw ground beef or any other raw meat on it.
- Don’t defrost frozen meat on the counter.
- Keep frozen meat in a separate plastic bag (for example, a plastic grocery bag) when thawing.
- Wash all raw fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat and before and after cooking.
In addition, it’s important to wash your hands after using the restroom, or after contact with animals.