Food-Borne Pathogens: E. Coli


Continuing my series on food-borne pathogens, we are taking a look at a more fragile pathogen, E. Coli. While not as life-threatening as C. Botulinum, E. Coli can still cause a fair bit of duress.

Sources of E. Coli

E. Coli is found most readily in the guts of animals such as cows, sheep, and deer. Because of this, the main source of contamination is cattle manure. Poor personal hygiene can also cause infection.

The Danger

According to the CDC, symptoms of E. Coli infection often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Sometimes this is also accompanied by a low fever (less than 101°F/38.5°C). Recovery generally occurs within 5 to 7 days. (E.coli [Escherichia coli]) As with most infections, E. Coli can be dangerous to those with an underdeveloped/compromised immune system, as well as the very young or very old.

Prevention in Food Preservation

Much like C. Botulinum, E. Coli prevention needs to be thought of from two fronts: Preventing growth, and decreasing survivability.

E Coli Growth

Temperature for Growth:
Lowest pH for Growth:
Water Activity (lower is "drier"):

Works Cited

E.coli (Escherichia coli). (2017, November 20). Retrieved June 24, 2018, from

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