When it comes to foodbourne illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that beef is still a common culprit.
At this month’s Beef Safety Conference held by the North American Meat Association, L. Hannah Gould, head of the CDC’s National Outbreak Reporting System Team gave a presentation entitled “Beef and Human Illness: Data from Outbreaks”. The underlying message of Gould’s talk was that, despite huge strides over the past two decades, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Aside from fish and dairy, beef continues to be associated with foodbourne outbreaks in the U.S. With 28 billion pounds of beef consumed in the U.S. each year––and 11 to 28 percent of that either raw or uncooked––the opportunity for the persistence of beef-related illness is clear. Currently, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 and Salmonella are the primary pathogens associated with contaminated beef outbreaks.