E. Coli is Not Just in Meat or Food, It is in Petting Zoos and Swimming Pools Too
E. coli is actually a good bacterium. It is in all of our intestines to help us digest food and provide our bodies with essential vitamins such as vitamin K or the B-complex vitamins. If E. coli is in our bodies naturally, why do some people get sick or even die if they eat or are exposed to E. coli? The answer is easy. The strain of E. coli in our bodies is a different strain of E. coli than the one that can make us sick.
Beef and dairy cattle can also carry the E. coli germ in their intestines. However, it is a different strain of E. coli than the one we have in our intestines. When the beef is processed, the animals' E. coli germs can get mixed into the ground up meat.
When you are preparing a meal at home, you make sure that you wash your hands after touching raw meat. You make sure that the cutting board is sanitized after cutting raw meat on it and you make sure that all of the meat you prepared for a meal was thoroughly cooked. You also make sure that all fruits and vegetables have been thoroughly washed or cooked before eating them. You expect that a restaurant, cruise ship, resort, casino, or anyone else providing you with a meal would do the same. Sadly, that is not always the case.
Food poisoning from E.coli can come from undercooked meat that did not kill the bacteria. It can also come from cooked meat that was placed on a surface that still had raw meat juices on it. In addition, fruits and vegetables can be contaminated the same way. They can be under washed, undercooked, or placed on a surface to be cut that is contaminated with raw E. coli.
E. coli infections are not just limited to food. Petting zoos, festivals with animals and agricultural fairs also have their decent share of E. coli. It is not a bad thing for the animals. However, when a child pets or plays with one of the farm animals, the animals' E. coli can stay on the child's hands and then be transmitted into their mouth if they did not wash their hands after playing with or petting the sheep, goats or cows. E. coli infections in children are more prevalent after Easter weekend.
Another way that a person can be infected with E. coli is in swimming pools; most commonly, baby pools. If infants and toddlers who are not potty trained are allowed to swim in a pool without the appropriate swimmy diapers, any stool or bowel elimination will be allowed to seep into the pool water. If that happens, the pool or swim club must clear the pool and sanitize in accordance to the Board of Health regulations. If they do not, you child is at risk of swallowing E. coli infected pool water.
When one has been infected with the E. coli germ, the symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, sometimes bloody, and severe abdominal cramps usually start 7 days after exposure to the bacteria. It can progress to up to 10 watery bowel movements a day. Some patients have even described the bowel movements as all blood.
Having 10 or more bowel movements a day can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Some even go on to develop hemolytic uremic syndrome which is a combination of a low white blood cell count (hemolytic anemia), low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) and kidney failure. Sadly, some patients do not survive the destruction that the E. coli bacteria caused.
Our highly specialized medical and legal teams at the Beasley premise liability law firm have decades of experience protecting the rights of individuals who have suffered injury or illness due to property owner negligence. It is our duty to hold negligent property owners liable for oversight or reckless behavior that causes E. coli infection or any other type of illness. To find out more about your legal rights and options, get in touch with one of our Philadelphia premises liability attorneys right away. Call (215) 866-2424 today for a free, no-obligation consultation.