How to prevent E. coli O157 from spreading at home

Strict hygiene measures are essential to stop others getting infected.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap in running water and dry them completely . Use liquid soap and warm water if you can.
  • Everyone must wash their hands after contact with an infected person , particularly after handling their clothes or bedding.
  • Always wash hands after going to the toilet or changing babies nappies, and before preparing or serving food or eating meals . Anyone who has been infected should avoid cooking or preparing food until 48 hours after their symptoms have cleared up.
  • Do not share towels or nappy changing mats .
  • Wash soiled clothing and bed linen separately from other clothes in a washing machine at the highest temperature possible (e.g. 60C).
  • Wipe down the outside of the washing machine with hot water and detergent after any heavily soiled load . After handling soiled bedclothes or clothing, wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Clean toilet seats, toilet flush handles, basin taps, surfaces and toilet door handles at least daily , preferably more often, using hot water and detergent.
  • Disinfection sprays and wipes or alcohol-based wipes may be used on toilet seats and other surfaces, but only after any visible soiling has been removed .
  • Thick household bleach is highly effective . Dilute one part bleach to every 10 parts water for soiled surfaces and one part bleach to every 100 parts water for other hard surfaces. Ideally, use heavy-duty domestic rubber gloves and disposable cloths for cleaning.
  • Dispose of cloths by placing them in a plastic bag, sealing the neck and placing in household waste . Thoroughly wash rubber gloves in hot water and detergent after use, then rinse and allow to dry. Do not clean soiled items in the kitchen.
  • Deal with any spillage of faeces immediately . Clean the soiled area with hot water and detergent using heavy-duty domestic rubber gloves. Clean gloves (as above) and wash hands thoroughly.
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018