E. Coli Classification

Here is more classification about .

Family: Enterobacteriaceae
Genus: Escherichia 
Species: coli

General E. Coli

Escherichia coli or E. coli is a group of naturally present in the intestines of humans and animals. In the large intestine, E. coli is beneficial because it prevents the outgrowth of other harmful bacteria. There are some types that cause foodborne illness, such as EHEC and STEC.

Suspicious food

E. coli can occur in raw animal , such as . But it can also occur in raw vegetables like cucumbers and lettuce. The problem is not caused by cooked vegetables, as the bacteria are killed by heating:

  • minced or filet américain;
  • half-cooked hamburger;
  • raw or undercooked beef (e.g. carpaccio);
  • unpasteurised or cheese;
  • vegetables such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes;
  • unpasteurised juice.

Disease profile E. Coli

Depending on the type of E. coli, an infection leads to more or less serious . In many cases you won’t notice anything. In other cases, you will experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Severe infections can cause reduced kidney function and blood breakdown. 
Below is a table of different types of E. coli with associated symptoms of illness.

Type E. Coli  symptoms 
EPEC Children’s diarrhea, (travellers) diarrhea 
ETEC (travellers) diarrhoea, vomiting, fever 
VTEC Stool with blood and mucus 
EHEC (subgroup of VTEC) Bloody diarrhea; possible kidney damage as complicated 
STEC 0157 (EHEC species) Bloody diarrhoea; possible kidney damage as a complication 
EIEC Relieve with blood and mucus 
EaggEC Persistent diarrhea in children 
DAEC Children’s diarrhea 

Incubation period

The incubation period, i.e. the time between infection and the first symptoms of the disease, is 1 to 12 days. The first symptoms usually occur within 3 to 4 days of infection. After about 24 hours, watery diarrhoea occurs which develops into bloody diarrhoea after one to two days. The last 2 to 9 days (on average 4 days) and generally disappear by themselves.

Risk groups

Young children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with low resistance are especially susceptible to an E. coli infection.

Prevention E. Coli

E. coli bacteria are heat-sensitive and are therefore killed by heating products above 70 °C. Proper heating and hygienic food handling can therefore largely prevent infections caused by E. coli bacteria. Further spread can be prevented by washing hands thoroughly after visiting the toilet and before cooking.

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