In light of a recent E. coli outbreak in Germany, the Ministry of Health is advising Barbadians to maintain basic hygiene practices in preparing and handling food.
Since bacteria can be passed from person to person, as well as through contaminated food and water, persons are reminded to include hand washing after toilet use and before touching or preparing food.?? ??.??
The Ministry of Health has also advised that safe food handling practices should be observed. This includes cooking food until all parts reach a temperature of 70 ??C or higher to destroy bacteria; thoroughly washing foods which are to be eaten raw with a safe source of water and separating ready-to-eat and cooked foods from foods which need to be cooked.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a category of bacteria which is commonly found in the gut of mammals and may be associated with outbreaks of foodborne illness. Symptoms of foodborne illness may include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, which can be bloody, as well as fever and vomiting.
Noting that so far in the Caribbean there has been no evidence of increasing transmission of the specific strain of E. coli associated with the German outbreak, the Health Ministry has urged anyone who develops bloody diarrhoea and abdominal pain, and particularly those with recent contact with Germany, to seek urgent medical advice.