Effects of the transportation of beef cattle from the feedyard to the packing plant on prevalence levels of Escherichia coli O157 and Salmonella spp.

A. R. Barham, B. L. Barham, A. K. Johnson, D. M. Allen, Blanton, M. F. Miller

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Two hundred steers and heifers from a large feedyard (65,000-head capacity) were used to determine the prevalence levels of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157 (EHEC O157) and Salmonella spp. prior to and after shipping to a commercial packing facility. Two samples, a ventral midline hide swab and a fecal sample, were aseptically collected from each animal 2 weeks prior to the date of transportation and at the packing plant immediately after exsanguination. Samples were collected from all trailers (n = 46) before animals were loaded for transport to the packing facility. The average prevalence levels of EHEC O157 on hides (18%) and in feces (9.5%) at the feedyard decreased (P > 0.05) at the packing plant to 4.5 and 5.5%, respectively. The average prevalence levels of Salmonella spp. on hides (6%) and in feces (18%) at the feedyard increased to 89 and 46%, respectively, upon arrival at the packing plant. Average prevalence levels for EHEC O157 and Salmonella spp. on the trailers were 5.43 and 59%, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate that transportation may be a potential stressor for cattle, as evidenced by the increased shedding of Salmonella spp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-283
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


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