Submitted to: Review Article
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Callaway, T.R. 2011. Pre-harvest management controls and intervention options for reducing Escherichia coli O157:H7 shedding in cattle. White Paper for National Cattleman's Beef Association.
Cattle can be naturally colonized with enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC; also known as Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli, STEC) in their gastrointestinal tract. In order to further curtail these human illnesses and ensure a safe and wholesome food supply, research into preharvest E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157:H7 EHEC reduction controls and interventions has grown in recent years. This review addresses the control interventions that have been proposed or implemented to reduce EHEC in cattle. We will divide the interventions into 3 broad categories: 1) management practices and transport; 2) cattle water and feed management; and 3) live animal treatments. However, these preharvest strategies do not eliminate the need for good sanitation and procedures in the processing plant and during food preparation. Instead, live-animal interventions 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. Recent years have seen an increase in research into developing new interventions (e.g., vaccination, DFM, chlorate, phages) and into understanding what effect diet and the microbial population have on EHEC populations in the gut of cattle. This research has resulted in several novel interventions and potential dietary additions or changes that can reduce EHEC in cattle, and many of them are in, or very near to entering, the marketplace.