Five kids sick with E. coli in Ohio county

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health confirms that three children have been exposed to the E. coli bacteria. Two more cases are under investigation.

"Five cases is very unusual for us to have," says Terry Allan, the health commissioner in Cuyahoga County.

The three children with confirmed cases also have what’s known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

Allan says the children must have contracted E. coli in one of two ways: either from a batch of meat that is contaminated or from just undercooked beef. Testing will be conducted on meat in the area, but so far, there is no indication that any particular batch of beef in Ohio is contaminated.

Or from thousands of other ways that E. coli O157:H7 can get into food or water or petting zoos.

Allan also says,

"If you don’t have a thermometer, it’s important that you cook that hamburger until it’s no longer pink in the middle."

This is wrong. Color is a lousy indicator. Use a meat thermometer, be careful about cross-contamination, and have more microbial awareness than the health commissioner in Cuyahoga County.