safefood advice for consumers in relation to E. coli

30 September, 2011. safefood would like to remind consumers to follow proper hygiene practises when handling and preparing food to protect themselves from E. coli.; hands should be properly washed before handling foods, after handling raw meat and poultry and after using the toilet.

Consumers should also keep raw meat and poultry completely separate from ready-to-eat foods - make a clean break by cleaning all utensils, knives, cutting boards before using them to prepare other foods. All fruit and vegetables should be washed under clean running water – scrubbing can help remove any germs present. Peeling can also be beneficial, particularly with root vegetables. Remember, cooking will kill E. coli.

E. coli O157 is most commonly linked with foods of animal origin for example raw meat but can also be present in water supplies where treatment is inadequate, or present in the environment possibly leading to contamination of food grown there. Types of E. coli such as E. coli O157 are harmful to humans and, if consumed, can cause food poisoning

If you think you are suffering from food poisoning, you should contact your GP or health professional.

Download: What you need to know about E. coli O157 (PDF, 1MB)

For more information, please visit:

Republic of Ireland


Northern Ireland

- Ends -