Preventing E. Coli

Preventing E. Coli (CNN)

The centers for disease control and prevention are warning people about romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona.

It's been linked to an E. Coli outbreak that's hospitalized at least 98 people across 22 states.

E. Coli bacteria is all around us -- even inside of us.

But certain strains produce a toxin that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and even infections in your bloodstream.

Most people can prevent E. Coli illness by properly handling food and practicing good hygiene.

Wash your hands before and after preparing a meal -- and especially before you eat.

Rinse off raw fruits and vegetables before eating them.

Prevent cross-contamination by keeping raw meat and seafood away from ready-to-eat foods.

It's crucial to thoroughly cook beef and pork, that's why it's recommended to use a food thermometer.

But E. Coli isn't found only in the kitchen.

Wash your hands after using the bathroom or coming in contact with animals.

Be careful to not swallow water while swimming.

Symptoms of E. Coli illness typically appear three to four days after coming in contact with the bacteria.

Contact your doctor if you experience severe diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, or cramps.

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