5 Common Foodborne Bacteria to Avoid

By EatingWell Editors, "5 Guests You Never Want to Have for Dinner," September/October 2009

Bad bacteria you don’t want lurking in your food.


3. Escherichia coli

Bacteria found mostly in meat (particularly beef) or produce contaminated with feces harboring the bacteria, and in unpasteurized (raw) milk and untreated water too. The most common form is E. coli 0157:H7—the rest of the group of E. coli bacteria are mostly harmless.

Charges: Causing people to double over with diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting. May also cause a low fever or pneumonia. Symptoms show up within two to five days of eating the contaminated food and most infections are mild, but about 5 to 10 percent of people develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening condition characterized by anemia, acute renal failure and low platelet count.

Next: Clostridium botulinum »

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