E. Coli in the Home

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People are being more cautious than ever about what they eat at restaurants. This is due to 70 confirmed cases of e.Coli in five Northern states.

E.Coli is a common kind of bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and even people. This same bacteria that has been found in restaurants can also be found in your home if you are not careful.

"Make sure when you cook your hamburgers, that you make sure you get rid of the all the pink and if you have a meat thermometer, it is a good idea to check the hamburger patty and make sure it gets to a hundred and sixty degrees all the way through," said Chip Kraus, Public Health Coordinator from the Barrern RIver Health Department.

Kraus said making sure you do not use the same plate to serve the meat on as you previously used before the meat was cooked, is the key to prevention of bacteria getting back into the cooked meat. When preparing meats with fresh vegetables or salads, experts say you want to be extra cautious.

"It is a good idea if you are going to have a salad with your hamburger to prepare those in separate places so you don't accidentally get some of the contamination from the meat onto the salad products,” Kraus said.

Even when fresh vegetables come pre-packaged there is no one hundred percent guarantee and washing them a second time is never a bad idea. Along with washing your food, Kraus said you also want to be very familiar with the overall cleanliness of your kitchen.

"Use a little bit of bleach, put a little bleach in your water, a cap full to a gallon of water and that should make a pretty good solution to killing any kind of bacteria that is in your kitchen,” Kraus said.

Always take time when preparing your food to insure that is prepared, cooked and cleaned thoroughly.

For more information on e.Coli and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, log onto www.cdc.gov.