E. coli outbreak in Portland water and Idaho sprouts

BY Ariel Min  May 23, 2014 at 5:01 PM EDT
E.coli bacteria. Photo by Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

E.coli bacteria. Photo by Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH

This week may have been a good week for E. coli, but not for us. The deadly bacteria broke out in several U.S. communities.

The Portland Water Bureau told the entire city of Portland, Oregon Friday to boil their tap water and refrain from drinking straight out of the faucet after it found E.coli in water samples.

That means even the water used for ice, drinking, brushing teeth and food preparation should be boiled at least one minute, according to the city’s alert. It also recommended that people throw away any food or ice prepped with contaminated water before May 20.

City officials at a press conference Friday said the most probable cause of the water contamination is animal feces.

Portland is not alone in suffering from an E. coli outbreak – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that Idaho and Washington have seven confirmed and three likely cases of E.coli infection likely caused by raw clover sprouts.

Idaho and Washington state departments have been telling consumers not to eat raw clover sprouts from Evergreen Fresh Sprouts LLC in Idaho since Wednesday.