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Name: Amber
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Location: MO
Country: United States
Date: February 2006

When working with e coli are there risks? If so what can I do to prevent these risks?

There is always a risk when working with bacteria. You should take care not to touch your cultures with bare hands. You should wipe down your work area with an disinfectant such as alcohol or 10% bleach. You should make sure to wash your hands when you are done. And any cultures should be disinfected before disposal by autoclaving or soaking for a few days in 10% bleach.

As far as E. coli specifically, it depends on the strain you are using. Most E. coli is pretty harmless-you carry it in your gut-hence the name. There are some nasty strains such as the one that causes food poisoning called 0157:H7.

So if you are using a lab strain and take normal care, you should be fine.


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