addresses E. coli spike
of Article:† http://www.meatnews.com/news/headline_stories.asp?ArticleID=101206
(MEATPOULTRY.com, March 31,
by Bryan Salvage
CHICAGO ó During
last weekís 2009 Meat Industry Management Conference held in Chicago, Dr.
James Marsden, North American Meat Processors Association senior science
advisor and the Regentís Distinguished Professor of Meat Science, Kansas
State University, addressed the increase in the incidence of E. coli
O157:H7 in beef the past two years and how industry should respond.
Dr. Marsden said
theories behind the spike range from complacency within the industry to
changes in feeding practices and even the prevalence of unskilled,
inexperienced workers filling jobs vacated after recent plant raids by
immigration officials. Other possible reasons mentioned included climate
change, anti-microbial resistance of the pathogen, and improved testing
and detection methods.
"We donít know
the real reasons for the change in E. coli trends after watching
it go down for years," Dr. Marsden said. "Whatever the reasons,
after several years of steady decline there has been an upward trend in
the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 in beef over the past two
On the bright side,
technologies have emerged that show promise and should allow for improved
control, he said. Interventions and research highlighted by Dr. Marsden
included a conditionally approved cattle vaccine, post-chill carcass
decontamination, hydrostatic pressure treatment of trimmings,
ultra-violet treatment and interventions during the slaughter process.
wonít totally eliminate E. coli O157:H7 in cattle, they may help
to reduce the spike in incidence that has been observed during the summer
months, Dr. Marsden said. They also allow for better control during the
slaughter process. Vaccine plus excellent slaughter and post-slaughter
controls may positively address the problem, he added.
As for ground-beef
safety, Dr. Marsden addressed the effectiveness of irradiation as well as
technologies for decontamination of beef trimmings prior to grinding,
including ultra-violet light technology used in conjunction with chemical
In concluding his presentation,
Dr. Marsden said an integrated, multi-hurdle process for combating E.
coli O157:H7 is an effective means for controlling the pathogen.
"The net effect
of this integrated process is a major reduction in risk associated with E.
coli O157:H7 in beef products," Dr. Marsden said.
The best solution is
to produce beef carcasses that are virtually free of enteric
contamination ó this includes E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella.
In using a dairy analogy, the raw material for grinders, processors and
purveyors should be "pasteurized" beef carcasses.
vision; letís hope it doesnít take 10 years to get there," Dr.