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E. Coli Outbreak: Experts Give Tips On Prevention

By Empriss Campbell
By ecampbell@wbbjtv.com

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has not given a source for the E. coli outbreak involving 14 people across the country, including one person in Tennessee.

Doctors believe most strands of the bacteria is not harmless.

"It's a gram negative rod shape bacteria that lives in the intestine of warm blooded animals. Most strands of it are mostly harmless. It's just a few strands that can be a problem," said Physicians Assistant, Holly Heath Marlar.

She said the bacteria can live in the stomach of the animals we eat.

"So lets say there's a animal that is slaughtered and it has the E.coli in its gut ,when the food is prepared and isn't cooked at the optimal temperature of the 160 degrees and we eat that meat we are exposed to E.coli," said Marlar.

One mother said she makes sure her food is completely cooked before she puts it on her plate.

"I always cook and make sure its well done before I even attempt to eat it. If I see and red in it at all, I'll recook it," said Marsha Morgan.

Doctors say after handling meat its important to wash your hands.

"I wash with Clorox everything Clorox wipe your counters down your utensils even if you put it down for a second," said Renee Davis.

Some other helpful tips is using a thermometer to check the temperature of your meat and wash you produce because it may have been around animal waste.