E. coli bacteria

Question: How can I tell if food is contaminated with E. coli?

Answer: There’s no way to determine if food is contaminated with E. coli by visually inspecting, smelling, or tasting it. Coming into contact with feces of humans or animals causes an E. coli infection.

Thoroughly cooking meat eliminates the bacteria. Raw foods must be cleaned prior to eating in order to avoid the bacteria. Always rinse raw produce thoroughly and keep raw foods, especially meats, separate from ready-to-eat foods. Cook food thoroughly and wash hands, utensils, and kitchen surfaces with hot, soapy water before, during, and after food preparation.

Jody George, MD, family medicine physician with The Family Care Center SWLA and medical staff member of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital

Question: What is the best way to do sit-ups to get the maximum results?

Answer: Do not do the traditional sit-ups where you lie on the floor, legs outstretched, and then sit up lifting your torso off the ground. This movement puts too much stress on your lower back and it actually targets the hip flexors more than the abs during most of the resistance. Instead, do crunches. Just lie on your back, knees bent, with your lower back flat on the floor or mat, and then bring your rib cage and pelvis as close together as possible keeping your chin up (off the chest), squeeze, and return to the starting position.

This works your primary ab muscles and no strain is placed on your lower back. You can also use a fitness ball or specific weight machine that works different ab muscles. A fitness specialist can help you develop a good abdominal routine.

Robin Pitre, group fitness coordinator at Dynamic Dimensions Fitness Centers

Questions may be submitted to: Healthy Advice, 716 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur, LA  70663 or by emailing healthyadvice@wcch.com.  Questions cannot be answered individually, but will be considered for publication.  Please check with your physician for specific recommendations concerning your health concerns. This information is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition.  Healthy Advice is a weekly column from West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.