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USDA Awards $25M Grant for E. coli Food Safety Research

E coli Food PathogensThe USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced a $25 million project grant that intends to reduce E. coli strains in beef production.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Kansas State University will lead the project with vital participation from:  North Carolina State University; the University of California, Davis; the University of Delaware; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; the New Mexico Consortium; USDA-Agricultural Research Service; New Mexico State University; Texas A&M University; and the University of Arkansas.

Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, or STEC, the cause of more than 265,000 illnesses in the U.S. annually, is the main research target.  Seven other strains will also be researched, which includes the strain in the Europe outbreak in 2011.

There are 100 million head of cattle and calves in the U.S., as of July 2011, reported by the USDA.  The beef chain will be researched from the birth of the calves all the way to the consumer with the grant money.

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