E. Coli

“E.coli is most often associated with undercooked burgers, but in fact it has been found in many other foods - as basically it is of faecal origin so can get into the food chain in many different ways”, Dr Lisa Ackerley, BHA

There have been outbreaks associated with salad crops before, and a particularly nasty one in the USA was associated with spinach (wild animal faeces, turned to dust blew across a crop). Unpasteurised milk is another source, and there have been outbreaks in USA associated with unpasteurised apple juice where windfall apples, contaminated with wild animal faeces were the cause of the outbreak. Leeks and potatoes were associated with an outbreak in England, presumably via cross-contamination mistakes as these items are cooked. Soft fruit has been implicated, particularly if irrigation is from untreated effluent, or there are inadequate toilet and hand-washing facilities on the farm.

“Obviously removing any faecal source from food at all stages in the food chain is the best first course of action, so a good supplier is critical, but most wise caterers will take the following further precautions”:

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