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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTERVENTIONS TO REDUCE EPIZOOTIC PATHOGENIC BACTERIA IN SWINE AND CATTLE

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Food safety issues and the microbiology of beef

Authors
item Anderson, Robin
item Riche, S - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Lungu, B - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Johnson, M - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Oliver, C - NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIV
item Horrocks, Shane
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 22, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Citation: Anderson, R.C., Riche, S.C., Lungu, B., Johnson, M.G., Oliver, C.E., Horrocks, S.M., Nisbet, D.J. 2009. Food safety issues and the microbiology of beef. In: Heredia, N., Wesley, I., GarcĂ­a, S., editors. Microbiologically Safe Foods. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 115-145.

Interpretive Summary: World demand for high-quality beef products presents opportunities for growth and expanded trade which is predicted to increase more than 6% for major beef producing countries and their beef industries. Contingent upon an increased consumer demand for beef is the production of high quality and microbiologically safe products. An enhanced stringency of food safety standards has increased the burden for producers and processors to regulate and document their production practices and to implement pathogen control practices. From a food safety standpoint, bacterial pathogens of major concern to beef include Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria. We review here information pertaining to the epidemiology and natural distribution of these pathogens in cattle and discuss the progress that has been made towards the development of strategies to minimize their presence in beef cattle. Intervention strategies that are administered on the farm include the feeding of a seaweed preparation, Tasco-14, and mixtures of beneficial lactic acid bacteria that are nonpathogenic and generally recognized as safe (GRAS) within the United States. An anti-E. coli O157:H7 vaccine for cattle has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for use in Canada. Other strategies employing the use of the chemical chlorate or a group of chemicals known as nitrocompounds have also been tested in experimental conditions but because they have not yet been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration, they are not being used on a wide scale yet. Challenges remain for the beef industry, however, as issues that extend well beyond the pathogens discussed in this chapter, including the emergence of existing and new pathogens, the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria come to the fore front.

Technical Abstract: World demand for high-quality animal protein presents opportunities for growth and expanded trade which is predicted to increase more than 6% for major beef producing countries and their beef industries. Contingent upon an increased consumer demand for beef is the production of high quality and microbiologically safe products. An enhanced stringency of food safety standards has increased the burden for producers and processors to regulate and document their production practices and to implement pathogen control practices. From a food safety standpoint, bacterial pathogens of major concern to beef include enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (especially E. coli O157:H7), Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria. We review here information pertaining to the epidemiology and ecology of these pathogens in cattle and the progress that has been made towards the development of interventions to minimize their carriage in animals. Preharvest interventions such as the seaweed preparation, Tasco-14, and probiotic mixtures of lactic acid bacteria are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) within the United States and with such status they are commercially available. An anti-E. coli O157:H7 vaccine for cattle has been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for use in Canada. Interventions employing chlorate or nitrocompounds await regulatory approval from agencies such as the United States Food and Drug Administration. Challenges remain for the beef industry, however, as issues that extend well beyond the pathogens discussed in this chapter, including the emergence of existing and new pathogens, the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and environmental issues come to the fore front. .

Last Modified: 9/1/2014