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Escherichia coli is a little fellow we are all quite familiar with. He is a bacterium that normally inhabits our colon in astromonical numbers. Normally this little fellow causes no trouble, but certain strains of the germ can cause disease by secreting toxins. Usually the illnesses are gastrointestinal (vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools) but can be even more serious if the germs get loose in the blood stream. At any rate, our exposure to the disease causing strains of this germ is usually by way of poor hygeine in food preparation. There is no substitute for washing your hands, and cooking your food thoroughly.