Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
Title: Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) ecology in cattle and management based options for reducing fecal shedding Authors
Submitted to: Agriculture, Food and Analytical Bacteriology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 20, 2013
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Citation: Callaway, T.R., Edrington, T.S., Loneragan, G.H., Carr, M.A., Nisbet, D.J. 2013. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) ecology in cattle and management based options for reducing fecal shedding. Agriculture, Food and Analytical Bacteriology. 3:39-69. Interpretive Summary: Pre-harvest controls in cattle hold great potential to reduce shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) dissemination on farms, in the environment, and entering the food chain; however, none of the on farm management-based controls discussed herein will completely eliminate STEC in cattle and certainly will not eliminate the need for proper procedures in the processing plant. Instead, the live animal management controls must be installed in a complementary fashion to reduce pathogens in a multiple hurdle approach that complements the in-plant interventions as well so that the reduction in pathogen entry to the food supply can be maximized.
Technical Abstract: Cattle can be naturally colonized with foodborne pathogenic bacteria such as Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) in their gastrointestinal tract. While these foodborne pathogens are a threat to food safety, they also cause human illnesses via cross contamination of other foods and the water supply, as well as via direct animal contact. In order to further curtail these human illnesses and ensure a safe and wholesome food supply, research into preharvest pathogen reduction controls and interventions has grown in recent years. This review addresses the ecology of STEC in cattle and potential controls and interventions that have been proposed or implemented to reduce STEC in cattle. We focus in this review on the use of management practices and the effects of diet and water management. Implementation of preharvest strategies will not eliminate the need for good sanitation procedures in the processing plant and during food preparation and consumer handling; instead, live animal management interventions must be implemented as part of a multiple hurdle approach that complements the in-plant interventions so that the reduction in pathogen entry to the food supply can be maximized.