Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Home News Scientists Scrutinize Role of 'Supershedder' Cattle in E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

Scientists Scrutinize Role of 'Supershedder' Cattle in E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

USDA

Supershedding is of concern because it could increase the amount of E. coli O157:H7 that makes its way from pasture or feedlot pen into packinghouses where steaks, roasts, ground round or other beef products are prepared.

| May 16, 2014

On average, about 2 percent of the cattle grazing in a pasture, or eating high-energy rations in a feedlot pen, may be "supershedders" who shed high levels of pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 in their manure, according to research led by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist Terrance M. Arthur.

Supershedding is of concern because it could increase the amount of E. coli O157:H7 that makes its way from pasture or feedlot pen into packinghouses where steaks, roasts, ground round or other beef products are prepared. Often referred to as O157, this bacterium is apparently harmless to cattle, but can cause vomiting, severe stomach cramps, diarrhea or other illness in humans.

Findings from studies by Arthur and his colleagues at the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, may provide a scientifically sound basis for new and effective strategies to curb shedding of this bacterium. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Arthur and his co-workers have designed and conducted studies of 6,000 head of feedlot cattle and more than 13,000 manure, hide and carcass samples. The team was the first to show that, in supershedders, O157 colonization may occur not just in the lower digestive tract, but also throughout the supershedders' entire digestive system. Packinghouse managers can take that information into account when evaluating their facility's sanitation procedures.

The researchers were also the first to determine that supershedding was not restricted to any particular O157 strain. Their work rules out the idea that tactics designed to reduce supershedding should target a specific strain or strains.

Research by Arthur's group has also indicated that, in order for a cattle-management strategy to be deemed successful for reducing transmission of O157, no more than 20 percent of the cattle targeted by the intervention would be shedding the microbe at any one time, and none would be shedding it at supershedder quantities.

Arthur and his coinvestigators, including ARS scientists Joseph M. Bosilevac, James L. Bono, Dayna M. Brichta-Harhay, Norasak Kalchayanand, John W. Schmidt, Steven D. Shackelford and Tommy L. Wheeler, all at Clay Center, have documented these and related findings in peer-reviewed scientific articles published in 2014, 2013, and 2009 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Source: USDA
 

Top news

FDA Publishes Proposed FSMA Rule on Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors

FDA has published a proposed rule and a draft guidance document to support a new FSMA program to help eligible foreign entities demonstrate that imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements under the VQIP program or as a condition of granting imported food admission when certain food safety risks have been identified.

Foran Spice Company Changes Name To Asenzya

Foran Spice Company of Oak Creek, Wis. has effectively changed its name to Asenzya, Inc. in an effort to strategically reposition the company to better meet the needs of its customers and communicate its many unique capabilities.

Alchemy Wins IAFP Food Safety Innovation Award

Alchemy Systems, the global leader in food and workplace safety has won the Food Safety Innovation Award from the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). The award is for Alchemy Coach, an innovative tool for observing and validating safety practices of frontline workers on the plant floor.

Eriez ProGrade Program Expands Offerings

Eriez ProGrade Program has expanded its offerings to include variety of economically priced magnetic separators for food processing applications. The ProGrade line of magnetic separators includes low-cost plates, grates, traps, tubes and sight glass magnets in various sizes and strengths for food processing application. Most items available through the ProGrade Program are in stock and ready for quick shipment.

Roka Bioscience Demonstrates Salmonella Detection Utility

Roka Bioscience, a molecular diagnostics company focused on providing advanced testing solutions for the detection of foodborne pathogens, today announced the results of a study demonstrating a limits-based testing application to accurately detect 1 colony forming unit per gram (CFU/g) contamination levels of Salmonella in 375-g ground turkey samples within one working shift. The limits-based testing approach provides an additional tool for monitoring process control and intervening to reduce risk associated with high Salmonella loads entering the marketplace. The limits-based pathogen testing approach for detection of Salmonella enterica in ground poultry will be presented in a poster session at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) annual meeting on Sunday, July 26, 2015 in Portland, Ore.

x