Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

E. Coli O157:H7 Incidence Drops 43 Percent in 2004

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

E. Coli O157:H7 Incidence Drops 43 Percent in 2004

Article excerpt

Continuing its downward trend, the prevalence of E. coli O157: H7 in ground beef showed a 43.3 percent decline in 2004 from 2003, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Of the 8,010 samples collected and analyzed in 2004, 0.17 percent tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, down from 0.30 in 2003, 0.78 in 2002, 0.84 in 2001, and 0.86 in 2000. Between 2000 and 2004, the percentage of positive samples in FSIS regulatory sampling has declined by more than 80 percent.

In April 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its annual report on foodborne illness in America, reported a 36 percent reduction in illnesses from E. coli O157:H7 in 2003 compared with 2002. The number of FSIS recall actions related to E. coli O157:H7 also continued to drop. There were six recalls related to E. coli O157:H7 in 2004, compared with 12 in 2003 and 21 in 2002.

In 2002, FSIS ordered all beef plants to re-examine their food safety plans on the basis of evidence that E. coli O157:H7 is a hazard reasonably likely to occur. Plants were required to implement measures that would sufficiently eliminate or reduce the risk of E. coli O157:H7 in their products. …

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