Pre-harvest interventions to reduce carriage of E. coli O157 by harvest-ready feedlot cattle

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Escherichia coli O157 is an important cause of food-borne illness. The primary reservoir for this organism is cattle and at present the major site of control is within abattoirs. Recent data have highlighted the importance of the pathogen load entering abattoirs on harvest-ready feedlot cattle. The likelihood for in-plant intervention failure increases as the proportion of cattle carrying E. coli O157 within a pen increases. Pre-harvest reduction of E. coli O157 colonization will require targeted intervention strategies and should reduce contamination of carcasses thereby enhancing public health. Several pre-harvest interventions show substantial promise, such as specific strains of direct-fed microbials, vaccine technology, sodium chlorate, and neomycin sulfate, whereas others such as Brown Seaweed or chlorination of water have little or no detectable benefit. Selection of validated interventions strategies will be important as efforts to control pre-harvest carriage of E. coli O157 increase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalMeat Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Cattle
  • E. coli O157
  • Feedlot
  • Food safety
  • Interventions


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