You are here


Enterococcus are naturally occurring intestinal bacteria that can be found in humans, animals, plants, soil, and water. It is one of the most commonly occurring hospital-acquired illnesses, but can also be a foodborne illness. Enterococcus faecalis is the most commonly-isolated species.

Typical Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Diverticulitis
  • Meningitis (rare)

Most at risk

  • Young children
  • The elderly
  • The immunocompromised

How is it spread?

  • Most frequently spread in hospitals
  • Can be spread through contaminated plants, soil, and water
  • Occasionally through person-to-person contact
    • Examples:
    • If an infected person does not wash his/her hands properly after using the toilet, it can be passed along by physical contact or by handling food
    • If contaminated water touches food at any stage (irrigation, washing, rinsing, etc.), contamination can also occur
Food Safety