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.
Jul. 03, 2013
- Niaudet P. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Shiga toxin associated (typical) hemolytic uremic syndrome in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Bavaro MF. E. coli O157:H7 and other toxigenic strains: The curse of global food distribution. Current Gastroenterology Reports. 2012;14:317.
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec11/ch133/ch133g.html. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome in children. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse . http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/childkidneydiseases/hemolytic_uremic_syndrome/. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Bielaszewska M, et al. Enterohemorrhagic escherichia coli O26:H11/H-: A new virulent clone emerges in Europe. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2013;56:1373.
- George JN. Causes of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Elliott MM, et al. Interventions for haemolytic uraemic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003595.pub2/abstract. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Food safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.html. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Niaudet P. Treatment and prognosis of Shiga toxin associated (typical) hemolytic uremic syndrome in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Niaudet P. Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 26, 2013.
- Nester CM, et al. Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome: What is it, how is it diagnosed, and how is it treated? Hematology. 2012;2012:617.
- Ground beef and food safety. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/ground_beef_and_food_safety/. Accessed May 28, 2013.
- Hunt JM. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2010;30:21.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.