Health Watch - Food Safety: E Coli

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about food safety and preventing food-borne illness. We’ve talked about ways to handle food to help prevent food poisoning, but researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are also looking into ways to prevent food-borne illness at the source.

Although E coli bacteria cause illness in humans, they’re a normal part of the digestive system in cattle. Interfering with the genetic mechanism that allows E coli bacteria to colonize in cattle causes the bacteria to die off before they can colonize where they could cause illness. Dr. Vanessa Sperandio, a UT Southwestern microbiologist, says preventing bacteria from colonizing in cattle could have a real impact on human disease. This could be done by an addition to cattle feed so that cattle shed less bacteria in their waste, and that prevents contamination down the line.

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September 2010


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