Skip to comments.In E. Coli Fight, Some Strains Are Largely Ignored
Posted on 05/27/2010 10:41:00 PM PDT by neverdem
For nearly two decades, Public Enemy No. 1 for the food industry and its government regulators has been a virulent strain of E. coli bacteria that has killed hundreds of people, sickened thousands and prompted the recall of millions of pounds of hamburger, spinach and other foods.
But as everyone focused on controlling that particular bacterium, known as E. coli O157:H7, the six rarer strains of toxic E. coli were largely ignored.
Collectively, those other strains are now emerging as a serious threat to food safety. In April, romaine lettuce tainted with one of them sickened at least 26 people in five states, including three teenagers who suffered kidney failure.
Although the federal government and the beef and produce industries have known about the risk posed by these other dangerous bacteria for years, regulators have taken few concrete steps to directly address it or even measure the scope of the problem.
For three years, the United States Department of Agriculture has been considering whether to make it illegal to sell ground beef tainted with the six lesser-known E. coli strains, which...
A physiological quirk of E. coli O157 makes it easy to test for in the lab, and many types of food are screened for it. The other E. coli strains are much harder to identify and testing can be time-consuming. The Agriculture Department has been working to develop tests that could be used in meat plants to rapidly detect the pathogens.
The lettuce linked to the April outbreak tested negative for the more famous form of E. coli, but no one checked it for the other strains, according to the Ohio company that processed it, Freshway Foods. It turned out that the romaine was infected with E. coli O145, one of the more potent of the six strains...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I think it’s a pretty shitty thing.
E-coli was found in less than 1% of the samples taken.
Cooking meats eliminates E-coli from being harmfull.
They want to disrupt the entire food system over this.
This isn’t about food safety. It’s about food control.
I doubt the writer really knows very much about what he writes about.