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.

For more information, visit www.swuhealth.org/ecoli

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