How can I prevent HUS?
To lower your risk of being infected with E. coli, follow these rules:
- Wash your hands carefully with soap before you start cooking.
- Cook ground beef until you see no pink anywhere.
- Don't taste small bites of raw ground beef while you're cooking.
- Don't put cooked hamburgers on a plate that had raw ground beef on it.
- Cook all hamburgers to at least 155°F. A meat thermometer can help you test your hamburgers.
- In restaurants, always order hamburgers and steaks that are cooked well done so that no pink shows.
- Defrost meats in the refrigerator or the microwave. Don't put meat on the counter at room temperature to defrost.
- Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods. Use hot water and soap to wash cutting boards and dishes after raw meat and poultry have touched them.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water.
- Drink only clean water.
- Don't drink raw milk.
- Keep food refrigerated or frozen.
- Keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
- Refrigerate leftovers right away or throw them away.
- People who have diarrhea should wash their hands carefully and often, using hot water and soap, and washing for at least 30 seconds.
- People who work in day care centers and homes for the elderly should wash their hands often, too.
- Do not swim in dirty lakes or rivers.
- Wash your hands well after petting farm animals.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome: An Emerging Health Risk by S Razzaq, M.D. (American Family Physician September 15, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060915/991.html)
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff