Protect Your Food From E. coli This Fourth of July, don't let E. coli food poisoning spoil your good time. E. coli is a bacteria with many strains, that is often linked to undercooked ground beef, but it has been found in fruits and vegetables and unpasteurized fruit juices. It has also been transmitted through contaminated drinking water, swimming pools and shallow lakes. Health experts advise that ground beef must be cooked at a minimum of 160 degrees in order to kill E. coli. Chicken must be cooked at 170 degrees, and juices should run clear, to prevent E. coli. Don't be fooled by hot dog labels that say "fully cooked." Experts say that even fully cooked hot dogs can contain a pathogen called listeria. Hotdogs should be reheated until they are steamy and hot throughout. Symptoms of E. coli infections include: severe abdominal cramps, followed by watery diarrhea that often becomes bloody. Victims may also suffer vomiting and nausea, accompanied by low-grade fever. In some persons, particularly children and the elderly, the infection can lead to severe complications, including kidney failure.