Nebraska is spending a lot of money looking at this problem. I wonder if
they will now stop all their research, and look at how to make it feasible
to feed hay to cattle for five days before slaughter. Although I am not
a feedlot expert, it sounds like they could do that with several million
The abstract of the study is below.
Grain Feeding and the Dissemination of Acid-Resistant Escherichia
coli from Cattle
Francisco Diez-Gonzalez, Todd R. Callaway, Menas G. Kizoulis, James B.
The gastric stomach of humans is a barrier to food-borne pathogens, but
Escherichia coli can survive at pH 2.0 if it is
grown under mildly acidic conditions. Cattle are a natural reservoir for
pathogenic E. coli, and cattle fed mostly grain
had lower colonic pH and more acid-resistant E. coli than cattle fed only
hay. On the basis of numbers and survival
after acid shock, cattle that were fed grain had 106-fold more
acid-resistant E. coli than cattle fed hay, but a brief
period of hay feeding decreased the acid-resistant count substantially.
Division of Biological Sciences, Section of Microbiology, Cornell
University and Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Ithaca, NY
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: email@example.com.
Science. Volume 281, Number 5383 Issue of 11 Sep 1998, pp. 1666 - 1668
?1998 by The American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Andy McGuire, Extension Educator
P.O. Box 736 office 402-254-2280
Hartington NE 68739 fax 402-254-6891
University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension
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