Beef industry keeps focus on safety improvements
High Plains Journal
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of illness due to E. coli O157 significantly decreased in 2009. The 2009 E. coli illness rate is the lowest since 2004 and meets the Healthy People 2010 goal to cut the number of O157 illnesses in half.
"This is good news for beef producers and consumers alike," says Jeff Clausen, a beef producer from Carson, Iowa, and the beef industry's Beef Safety Committee chairman. "Anyone involved in the ongoing battle to improve food safety is gratified by the news that illnesses from E. coli O157 have declined. However, E. coli O157 is a tough, adaptable foe and our work is not done."
Through beef checkoff investments and widespread industry commitment, the beef industry continues to make strides toward reducing the incidence of E. coli O157 by implementing multiple interventions throughout the beef production chain.
For more information on the industry's beef safety efforts, visit BIFSCo.org. For more information about programs funded by your checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
Every year, producers are committing their own money to learn more about e. Coli and how best to reduce the chances for contamination. While research is determining new and better ways to handle O157, the time-tested advice of avoiding cross contamination in the kitchen and properly cooking all meat will still eliminate any chance of ever getting sick. Food safety is a team effort that we all need to be part of. ~Troy