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A brief history of food microorganisms: Escherichia Coli or E.Coli

The Regulatory Obligations of the Restaurateur 12 April 2021

Food is surrounded by microorganisms that are more or less harmful to humans. It is therefore important to know how to recognize the problematic ones as well as the means necessary to make them harmless or get rid of them. The case raised by this article concerns a bacterium often seen in the media: Escherichia Coli (or E.Coli for close friends).

The Little History of Escherichia Coli

E.Coli is a very common bacterium in humans since it makes up 80% of our aerobic intestinal flora. However, some strains are highly pathogenic and can be dangerous for humans.

This bacterium made a lot of talk between the years 2005 and 2014. While in France, there was a death due to minced steaks contaminated by this bacterium, in Germany, about forty people had lost their lives as a result of the consumption of germinated seeds also contaminated.

It is therefore a bacteria to watch out for.

Symptoms to recognize

Symptoms appear 3 to 8 days after infection. The pathogenic forms can cause bloody diarrhea, acute renal failure, or even a fatal outcome in some people at risk.

Where can we find it?

Products of animal origin that are poorly cooked or eaten raw are the main foods where the bacteria can be found, the latter developing in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals.

It can also be found on fruits and vegetables coming into contact with these strains.

How to avoid and get rid of it

  • Leather the meat to the heart, especially if it is minced
  • Avoid the consumption of raw milk cheese in populations at risk (elderly people, children, pregnant women)
  • Wash fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs (especially if eaten raw)
  • Wash hands before preparing meals
  • Pay attention to the hygiene of the equipment used during preparation
  • Separate cooked and raw foods to avoid cross-contamination

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