Most cases of Yersinia enterocolitica are uncomplicated and resolve completely. Occasionally, some people develop joint pain, most commonly in the knees, ankles, or wrists. These joint pains usually develop about one month after the initial episode of diarrhea, and generally resolve after one to six months. A skin rash, called erythema nodosum, may also appear on the legs and trunk; this is more common in women. In most cases, erythema nodosum resolves spontaneously within a month.
There are several things that can be done to reduce the risk of becoming infected with Yersinia enterocolitica. Suggestions to prevent an infection include:
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked pork.
- Consume only pasteurized milk or milk products.
- After handling raw chitterlings, clean hands and fingernails scrupulously with soap and water before touching infants or their toys, bottles, or pacifiers. Someone other than the food handler should care for children while chitterlings are being prepared.
- Wash hands with soap and water before eating and preparing food, after contact with animals, and after handling raw meat.
- Prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen:
- Use separate cutting boards for meat and other foods.
- Carefully clean all cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after preparing raw meat.
- Dispose of animal feces in a sanitary manner.