E.Coli O157 guidance

The E.coli O157 guidance was developed as a result of two serious outbreaks of E.coli O157 in Scotland in 1996 and in Wales in 2005.  These outbreaks were due to cross contamination arising from the poor handling of food. 

Although this guidance has been produced to control E.coli O157, the measures it contains will also help in the control of other harmful food poisoning bacteria such as campylobacter and salmonella.  

What is E.coli O157?

Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157) is a dangerous type of bacteria which can cause food poisoning.  It can cause serious illness and could be fatal, especially for vulnerable people such as infants, young children and elderly people.  Only a small amount of bacteria is needed to cause illness.  

The E. coli O157 bacteria has been found in:

  • raw meat
  • unpasteurised milk
  • vegetables
  • sprouted seeds
  • salad vegetables

Cooking foods to above 75oC kills the bacteria, but some of the foods listed above are often eaten without being cooked.  Foods can be easily contaminated with the bacteria after cooking through cross contamination if food handling and preparation practices are poor.

How do I comply with guidance?

Cross-contamination can be controlled and prevented by:


Use the E Coli Checklist to make sure your business is complying with the E.coli O157 guidance and record the controls you have put into place.

The Food and Safety Team is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy when you use our services. Please view our Food and Safety Team Privacy Notices for further information, printed copies are available on request.

Contact details

Post address:
Derby City Council, The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby DE1 2FS
Phone: 01332 640779
Minicom: 01332 640666

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