Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF PATHOGENIC AND SPOILAGE BACTERIA ON RED MEAT

Location: Meat Safety & Quality Research

Title: Super Shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by Cattle and the Impact on Beef Carcass Contamination

Authors
item ARTHUR, TERRANCE
item HARHAY, DAYNA
item BOSILEVAC, JOSEPH
item KALCHAYANAND, NORASAK
item SHACKELFORD, STEVEN
item WHEELER, TOMMY
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad

Submitted to: International Congress of Meat Science and Technology Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 6, 2010
Publication Date: September 20, 2010
Citation: Arthur, T.M., Harhay, D.M., Bosilevac, J.M., Kalchayanand, N., Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., Koohmaraie, M. 2010. Super Shedding of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by Cattle and the Impact on Beef Carcass Contamination. Meat Science. 86:32-37. Special Issue: 56th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (56th ICoMST) August 15-20, 2010, Jeju, Korea. (Proceedings) Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2010.04.019

Interpretive Summary: Beef carcass contamination is a direct result of pathogen transfer from cattle hides harboring disease causing bacteria. Hide contamination occurs from direct and indirect fecal contamination in cattle production and processing plant holding pen environments. In each of these environments, individual animals shedding E. coli O157:H7 at high levels (“super shedders”) can have a disproportionate effect on cattle hide and subsequent carcass contamination. It is not known what criteria must be met to cause the super shedding phenomenon. Understanding the factors that play a role in super shedding will aid in minimizing or eliminating the super shedding population. Removal of the super shedders from the cattle population will reduce E. coli O157:H7 transmission in cattle-associated environments, resulting in much lower risk of beef carcass contamination and a safer finished product.

Technical Abstract: Beef carcass contamination is a direct result of pathogen transfer from cattle hides harboring organisms such as enterohemorrhagic E. coli. Hide contamination occurs from direct and indirect fecal contamination in cattle production and lairage environments. In each of these environments, individual animals shedding E. coli O157:H7 at high levels (>104 CFU/g of feces, “super shedders”) can have a disproportionate effect on cattle hide and subsequent carcass contamination. It is not known what criteria must be met to cause the super shedding phenomenon. Understanding the factors that play a role in super shedding will aid in minimizing or eliminating the super shedding population. Removal of the super shedders from the cattle population will reduce E. coli O157:H7 transmission in the production and lairage environments, resulting in much lower risk of beef carcass contamination and a safer finished product.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page