E Coli Essay

Topics: Bacteria, Escherichia coli, Milk Pages: 1 (282 words) Published: March 8, 2012
A micro-organism is a very small organism; the most common micro-organisms are bacteria, fungi and protozoa, which have been found across the earth for over 3.8 billion years. The name of the micro-organism that I am researching is E coli, which is short for Escherichia coli, E. coli diverged around 102 million years ago, E coli is a common type of bacteria that can get into food, like beef and vegetables. E coli is dangerous because it is damaging to the kidneys and other organs responsible for removing toxins from the body.

E coli is an emerging cause of food borne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection occasionally leads to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centres is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. People can prevent E coli infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully. Due to the fact that the organisms live in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated. E coli is a gram negative bacterium which has been most commonly found in the lower intestine of warm blooded organisms. Most strains of e coli have been proven harmless, but a percentage of these strains can cause serious food poisoning in humans. E coli normally lives inside your intestines, where it helps your body break down and digest the food you eat.
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