Friday, March 13, 2009

Making Beef Even Safer

USDA approves shot for cows aimed at E. coli
By STEVE KARNOWSKI – 17 hours ago

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota company has won federal approval to become the first in the U.S. to market an E. coli vaccine for cattle, a new weapon against a foodborne disease that can cause serious illness in people and even death.

Epitopix LLC was given a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to sell its vaccine.

Nayyera Haq, a USDA spokeswoman, called it "an important step toward improving food safety in this country," and a major beef group agreed.

"It really is a major milestone for our industry," Michelle Rossman, director of beef safety research for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said Thursday. Read More

The beef industry continues to look for improved methods of production. But when you already produce the safest product in the world, big breakthroughs can be harder to come by. However, E. coli 0157 H7 has been one of areas we have been concentrating on improving. E. coli can be a problem in all types of food, not just beef. If this new technology works well, everyone that eats will benefit.

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