Specific preventive measures for hemolytic uremic syndrome aren't clear. However, it's always a good idea to take precautions against E. coli and other foodborne illnesses. It's important to note that meat or produce contaminated with E. coli won't necessarily look, feel or smell bad. Things you can do that will help reduce your risk of foodborne illness:

  • Wash your hands, utensils and food surfaces often.
  • Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Defrost raw meat in your microwave or refrigerator. (Don't leave meat on the counter to thaw.)
  • Thoroughly cook ground beef to at least 160 F (71 C) throughout. Check the temperature of the meat with a thermometer. When reheating already cooked burger patties, make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 F (74 C).
  • Wash fruits and vegetables under running water.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk, juice and cider.
  • Avoid swimming in water potentially contaminated with feces, and don't swim if you have diarrhea.

Also make sure that everyone in your family — including children — washes his or her hands after using the toilet or changing diapers and before eating. In child care facilities, diapers shouldn't be changed or disposed of in the same room where food is prepared or eaten.

July 03, 2013