Press Release: Community Message No. 3 on E.coli Outbreak

Update (7-14-17, 4:30pm): Investigation of the E. coli outbreak continues with the combined efforts of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, Mohave County Department of Health, Utah Department of Health, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. These agencies have also been joined by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Confirmed case count remains at 11.
  • The source of this outbreak has not been identified.
  • Because coli can be passed from several different sources, including person to person, it is always important to follow these practices to prevent infection:
    • Wash hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom and changing diapers, after contact with animals or environments with exposure to animal feces, and before touching anything that enters an infant’s mouth.
    • Don’t allow raw food to touch cooked food. Carefully clean all surfaces and objects that have touched raw meat.
    • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Use a meat thermometer.
    • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk, dairy products, and juices.
    • Don’t swallow water when swimming.

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Press Release: Community Message on E.coli Outbreak

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is working closely with the Mohave County Department of Public Health in an ongoing investigation of the E.coli outbreak that was recently detected in the Hildale/Colorado City community. This outbreak includes a strain of E.coli bacteria that can lead to serious illness. While the source of this outbreak has not yet been identified and details about individual cases are not being released, health department officials want to inform the community about the following:

• All water samples tested so far have shown to be safe for use, including city water systems.

• Handle raw meat carefully: keep it separate from other foods and store it in sealed packaging on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces that have contacted raw meat and do not set cooked meat back onto a possibly contaminated surface. Cook ground meat, poultry, and leftovers to 165° degrees, and whole meat to 145°.

• Refrigerate all food that could spoil. Food should be refrigerated at 40° degrees or lower within two hours of being left out and one hour or less if left out in heat 90° degrees or higher.

• Continue to practice thorough hand washing after contact with raw meat or animals, after changing diapers and using the restroom, and before and after preparing food. E.coli can be transferred when tiny particles of feces enter the mouth from contaminated hands, food, water, and unpasteurized dairy/juice products. People who experience symptoms of E.coli; including stomach cramps, mild fever, nausea, vomiting,, and diarrhea (often bloody), should seek medical care.

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