E. coli is a dangerous bacterium that has caused countless illnesses over the years. Although it mainly causes short-lived problems such as fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, the symptoms can be much more severe for those under the age of 18. Despite how much we know about this bacterium, there are still often several outbreaks around the United States alone each year.
As of July 28, 2021, there have been at least two such outbreaks in several different states. One of the possible reasons for this is that food being sold to consumers has already been contaminated. In that case, it is important to alert those that originally sold it in order to prevent future infections from occurring.
Another, more common, reason comes from food bot being properly prepared. As this most recent reported outbreak was linked to cake mix, it is possible that either raw cake batter was consumed by the infected or that the cake mix was not completely cooked before it was served.
While some may not see the risk of consuming raw cake batter or cookie dough, the threat cannot be understated. Many different harmful bacteria can thrive in raw food, not just E. coli. Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter are just some of the possible dangers, and their symptoms can be much more severe. In some instances, death or permanent injury could occur, especially in those with weakened immune systems.
To minimize the risk of infection, please follow cooking instructions as closely as possible and ensure that any food you eat, even if it may seem harmless, is cooked thoroughly to the appropriate temperature.
For more information on food borne illnesses and outbreaks, please check the CDC website.
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