In this world of fast-paced, high consuming individuals, the bacterial world is also ever expanding and progressing as much as the modern advancements are.
Bacteria are microscopic organisms that have very wide scope of differentiation in the Taxonomy tree. They can be classified in different families, species, and will still branch off into different strains. In comparison to our discoveries now, we have only yet to discover a lot more.
They can be found literally everywhere, even in places we never thought they are; in our bodies. A practical nightmare for germophobes, bacteria also lives inside our bodies and these little guys are called commensals.
One notable commensal is the bacteria called Escherichia coli (E.coli) which makes the human lower gastrointestinal tract its habitat. These commensals do not cause disease to humans unless they are transferred to places where they do not normally reside. As for an example, E.coli goes out of our bodies by excretion, and will get transferred to other surfaces if not handled properly.
E.coli is responsible for many types of infections such as urinary tract infections (UTI), appendicitis, gallbladder infections, wound infections, and neonatal meningitis. All these diseases caused by E.coli occur because of fecal contamination. Most commonly, they occur in contamination of food, especially the undercooked meat (beef and pork), raw milk and juices, untreated water, and contaminated raw fruits and vegetables.
This is easily avoided by observing proper handling of meat and other raw products. But there has been a significant study made at the University of Alberta where the researchers have discovered a certain strain of E.coli which survived past the temperatures recommended by health agencies for cooking ground beef. With 71 degrees Celsius as the recommended temperature, their study showed that this certain strain of E.coli survived past that. As for a recommendation from the researchers, they suggest to cook meat between 71 to 73 degrees Celsius just to make sure. Using a thermometer probe also aids in the monitoring of the temperature the meat is being cooked with.
It is always a universal precaution that to be safe, an old saying goes “prevention is better than cure.” Stay safe, be sure.
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