The dictionary defines a germaphobe as any person who is obsessed with cleanliness and defeating bacteria. By that definition, we should all strive to be germaphobes — particularly when it comes to protecting ourselves from dangerous strains of E. coli bacteria.
E. coli bacteria live in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless, but a few nasty strains can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Every year in the United States, at least 2,000 people are hospitalized and about 60 die from E. coli infections and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).