Cook this incorrectly, and you could end up with a case of E. coli.

"E. coli stands for Escherichia coli, which is a type of bacteria."

"Most commonly, we hear about it in raw or undercooked hamburger meat."

Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse says E. coli bacteria can create some stomach-turning symptoms, like abdominal pain and nausea. But it can get even worse.

"There's a specific type of E. coli. It's called O157:H7, which can cause bloody diarrhea and has been associated with a condition that can cause kidney damage, especially in young children."

The elderly are also at higher risk for problems with E. coli, as are pregnant women, people with underlying digestive problems and those with weakened immune systems.

"If somebody were to be exposed to E. coli in something they ate or drank, they may have symptom onset within a couple of days to a few weeks after infection or exposure."

Dr. Rajapakse says the best way to avoid a bout with the bacteria is to wash your hands and thoroughly cook your hamburgers.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jeff Olsen.

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Aug. 03, 2019