Vermont Investigates Eight Possible Cases of Foodborne Illness
By: Vermont Department of Health - Wed, 10/15/2008
Source of Article: http://www.emaxhealth.com/2/75/25398/vermont-investigates-eight-possible-cases-foodborne-illness.html
The Vermont Department of Health
is warning consumers not to eat undercooked meat. The Health Department is
now investigating eight cases of E. coli bacteria O157:H7 identified in Vermont.
"We're continuing to track down the origin
of the illnesses and we have not linked the illnesses to one specific food
source, but we want to caution the public to avoid eating potentially risky
food items," said Acting State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso.
None of the reported cases required
E.coli is a foodborne
bacteria that causes severe diarrhea, often with
bloody stools, and abdominal cramps. Inadequately cooked ground beef is the
most likely source of this infection, though other foods have also caused
The Health Department is reminding Vermonters
not to eat undercooked hamburger or ground beef products. Cook ground beef to
at least 160?F. Eating undercooked, pink ground beef
is linked with a higher risk of illness. If a food thermometer is not
available, do not eat ground beef that is still pink inside. Avoiding
unpasteurized raw milk and milk products, and washing fruits and vegetables,
are other practices that can help avoid serious foodborne
The E. coli strain called O157:H7 are coliform bacteria that normally live in the intestines of
animals. Although most E. coli strains are harmless, several are known to
produce toxins that can cause diarrhea. The E. coli strain called O157:H7 can
cause severe diarrhea, kidney damage, kidney failure and death. Symptoms of
E. coli O157:H7 usually start from 3-4 days after eating a contaminated food
item, and may include stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Some infected people experience only mild
diarrhea and no other symptoms. Most people recover from E. coli bacterial
illness without antibiotics or other specific treatment in five to 10 days,
but more serious complications can develop.