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Venison can contain E. coli bacteria

5:12pm, April 8, 2003

From Atlanta, at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases

A study in Connecticut finds that deer can harbor Escherichia coli O157:H7, the strain of bacterium that causes severe diarrhea in people. The report bolsters a 1997 study by scientists in Oregon who traced E. coli to elk and deer meat. The findings suggest E. coli may be widespread in venison and raise concerns about preparation of wild-game meats.

Microbiologist Douglas W. Dingman and his colleagues at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven learned of a case of E. coli poisoning in November 1998, during deer-hunting season. A 7-year-old Connecticut boy had become sick after eating undercooked venison.

The deer had been shot through the abdomen in Vermont but evaded capture for 2 hours, allowing E. coli to escape the gut and invade the bloodstream, Dingman says. The carcass wasn't refrigerated or butchered for 2

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