Public reminded to prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection
27 May 2010
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 27) reminded people to maintain good personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent intestinal infection caused by E. coli O157:H7 bacteria.
The appeal came after the confirmation by laboratory test of a case involving a 10-month-old girl living in Tuen Mun. She is a family member of the girl who was confirmed with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria on May 20 (Thursday).
She is the third case of E. coli O157:H7 infection reported to the CHP this year. The CHP's investigation revealed that the girl developed loose stools on May 11. She sought medical consultation and has recovered.
Her stool specimen grew toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7.
She had no travel history during the incubation period.
The CHP's investigation continues.
A CHP spokesman said that in general, E. coli O157:H7 could be contracted through consumption of undercooked contaminated food (especially minced beef and hamburgers, etc.) or contaminated water, or transmitted from person to person through the faecal-oral route.
However, the bacteria can be killed at a cooking temperature of around 75 degrees Celsius for two to three minutes.
Members of the public are advised to cook meat thoroughly. The core temperature of food should reach 75 degrees Celsius for at least two to three minutes, until the cooked meat is brown throughout and the juices run clear.
"They should maintain good personal and environmental hygiene to avoid person-to-person transmission of the bacteria through the faecal-oral route. They are advised to wash hands thoroughly particularly before handling food, before eating, after visiting the toilet and after changing diapers for their babies," he said.
There were two cases of E. coli 0157:H7 infection in 2008 and two others in 2009.
People may visit the CHP website at This link will open in a new windowwww.chp.gov.hk to obtain more information on the disease.