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E. coli

Rinsing your produce is a good idea, but it won't give you 100 percent protection from bacteria that cause foodborne illness unless you cook it thoroughly. Because we eat lettuce raw, a lot of people got sick in a recent outbreak. StockFood/Getty Images/Foodcollection hide caption

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StockFood/Getty Images/Foodcollection

A man shops for vegetables near romaine lettuce for sale at a supermarket in California, where the first death from the E. coli outbreak was reported. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a recent E. coli outbreak is linked to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz. At least 53 people have reported illnesses, 31 have been hospitalized. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP

Colored transmission electron micrograph of a section through an Escherichia coli bacterium. This rod-shaped bacterium moves via its hair-like flagellae (yellow). Kwangshin Kim/Science Source hide caption

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Kwangshin Kim/Science Source

Cookie dough clings to the beaters of a standing mixer. The Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to eat raw dough due to an ongoing outbreak of illnesses linked to flour tainted with E. coli. Larry Crowe/AP hide caption

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Larry Crowe/AP

A Pennsylvania woman developed a urinary tract infection cased by Escherichia coli bacteria that were found to be resistant to colistin, an antibiotic that is seen as the last line of defense. Nature's Geometry/Science Source hide caption

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Nature's Geometry/Science Source

A typical label includes safe cooking instructions. This label on blade-tenderized beef sold at Costco recommends 160 degrees as the minimum internal temperature, which doesn't require a three-minute rest time. Lydia Zuraw/KHN for NPR hide caption

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Lydia Zuraw/KHN for NPR

A Chipotle Mexican Grill employee prepares a burrito for a customer in Seattle. The CDC believes the two recent E. coli outbreaks at Chipotle restaurants are over. Stephen Brashear/AP hide caption

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Stephen Brashear/AP

The antibiotic resistant bacteria have been found in pigs, pork and people in China. This pig is from a farm on the outskirts of Beijing. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

E. Coli Bacteria Can Transfer Antibiotic Resistance To Other Bacteria

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Microbiologist Mi Kang works to identify a strain of E. coli from a specimen in a lab at the Washington State Department of Health on Tuesday in Shoreline, Wash. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

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Elaine Thompson/AP

A clampdown on contamination in growing fields has pushed out wildlife and destroyed habitats. Adam Cole/NPR hide caption

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Adam Cole/NPR

Don't Fear The Wild Animals, Researchers Tell Salad-Makers

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that unpasteurized milk can cause serious illness, because it's a fertile breeding ground for harmful germs like salmonella and E. coli. But such warnings haven't deterred raw milk enthusiasts. Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media hide caption

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Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers. Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery hide caption

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Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

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The plate on the left contains about equal numbers of colonies of two different bacteria. After the bacteria compete and evolve, the lighter ones have taken the lead in the plate on the right. Courtesy of Michael Wiser hide caption

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Courtesy of Michael Wiser