(HealthDayNews) -- Late summer picnics and fairs can mean an unwelcome bout with Escherichia coli, a growing cause of foodborne illness, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 73,000 cases of E. coli infection and 61 related deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most infections have been associated with eating undercooked ground beef, which otherwise looks and smells normal.
Infection also can be acquired from drinking non-pasteurized milk or juice, swimming in or drinking contaminated water, and from consumption of other contaminated foods including sprouts, lettuce and salami.
Consumers can prevent E. coli infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding non-pasteurized milk and by washing hands carefully before eating.