E. coli decline in ground beef

Geni Wren, Bovine Veterinarian Magazine | Updated: June 3, 2011A new report by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service shows that Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef samples has had a significant decline since 2000. The new data shows that E. coli O157:H7 is found in less than one quarter or 1% of ground beef samples, which is a 72% decline since 2000 in ground beef samples testing positive for the pathogen.According to the Beef Board, the FSIS 2010 year-end results indicated there were 29 positive samples out of 11,616 taken in federal plants, no positives of 905 samples taken in retail stores and one positive out of 29 imported samples. The overall prevalence rate was 0.24%.Mandy Carr Johnson, Executive Director of Research at National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which contracts to manage the safety research program for the Beef Checkoff, says, “The beef industry has stayed vigilant in improving beef safety.  The Beef Checkoff has funded research projects since 1993 to better understand the safety challenges like E. coli O157 that impact beef’s safety.”

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