E. coli: What are the dangers?

Enigl enigl at aol.com
Thu Aug 22 18:37:19 EST 1996

In article <4v8k04$cgn at newsbf02.news.aol.com>, rbell41799 at aol.com
(RBell41799) writes:

>Based on some literature calling E. coli an "indicator organism," he
>E. coli is not harmful to people. I think it *is* harmful to people based
>on what I hear in the press about outbreaks of E. coli cases from
>undercooked hamburger, etc.

The "indicator" test methods for foods were developed from water testing. 
_E. coli_ in water was thought to be only from human sewage.  The
"indication" was, if human sewage was present so was _Salmonella_, 
_Shigella_, cholera, you name it.   This then became the food test method
idea also.  Back in 1974, when I was in Medical Technology school,
_E.coli_ was called "enterotoxigenic" or "enteropathogenic" only when it
caused illness or death in babies.  Only recently has the few serotypes
(O157:H7 is one) been found to cause death in adults. Now these are called
"Hemorrhagic" _E. coli and look for  "VTEC" used on this news group.

Only a few serotypes are deadly (so far).  Still, I don't think I want to
eat viable _E.coli_ knowing the sources are human sewage and in the case
on hamburgers, cow intestinal content (manure).



Davin C. Enigl, MS-MEAS, President-Microbiologist
HACCP Validations-sm  Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points for the
Food, Cosmetic, Pharmaceutical, and Nutritional Supplement Industry
Voice: (916) 989-8264,  Fax: (916) 989-8205,  Pager: (714) 725-7695
9040 Erle Blunden Way
Fair Oaks, CA 95628
August 22, 1996
3:25 pm

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