About E. coli Blog
Prevalence of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli in beef cattle
The Journal of Food Protection published that a large number of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains have caused major outbreaks and sporadic cases of human illnesses, including mild diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and the life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome.
In a large number of STEC-associated outbreaks, the infections were attributed to consumption of ground beef or other beef products contaminated with cattle feces.
A study published in the Journal of Food Protection has concluded that beef cattle should be considered reservoirs of the bacteria and can “pose significant health risks to humans.”
The study notes that of the 261 STEC serotypes found in beef cattle, 44 cause hemolytic uremic syndrome and 37 cause other illnesses.