E. Coli, also known as Escherichia coli, are bacteria found in foods, the environment, and the digestive system of both humans and animals.
While most strains of E.Coli have no impact on your health, others can make you extremely sick. For example, it can cause respiratory illnesses, urinary tract infections, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and pneumonia (among other ailments).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s difficult to know exactly where an E.Coli infection comes from, as there are so many potential sources.
Most people understand that E.Coli can contaminate the food they eat. However, they’re not aware that the ice they use could also be contaminated.
Is the Freezing Temperature Enough Protection?
It’s easy to believe that the freezing temperature would be more than enough to prevent E.Coli issues with ice, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The ice you consume from restaurants, gas stations, and vending machines could be contaminated. Contamination typically comes into play when the ice machine is not cleaned regularly or in the appropriate manner.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent the ingestion of E.Coli, as you cannot detect it with the human eye.
However, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself:
- Never use ice from a machine that appears dirty or improperly maintained. Ice can contain E.Coli, and you’re at a higher risk if the machine producing it is unsanitary.
- Avoid high-risk foods, such as beef that is undercooked and unpasteurized juice and milk.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before preparing and eating food, especially after contact with animals or changing an infant’s diaper.
It’s a good thing to know that E. Coli can contaminate ice, but that doesn’t do much for you in regards to prevention. The only sure-fire way to prevent trouble is to avoid using ice altogether.
If you suspect that E.Coli is making you sick, seek immediate medical attention and follow the treatment schedule outlined by your doctor.
From there, do your best to pinpoint the cause of your problem so that you can avoid the same in the future.
What’s in your water?
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