Skip to main content

Animal- and Truckload-Level Associations between Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Feces and on Hides at Harvest and Contamination of Preevisceration Beef Carcasses

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Cattle feces and hides contribute to carcass contamination with Escherichia coli O157:H7, ultimately impacting beef safety. Primary objectives of our cross-sectional study were to evaluate associations among fecal, hide, and preevisceration carcass prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and to assess factors affecting carcass contamination. Fecal, hide, and preevisceration carcass samples were collected from up to 32 cattle on each of 45 truckloads presented to a midwestern U.S. abattoir. Enrichment and selective culture were used to assess fecal, hide, and carcass prevalence, and direct plating was used to identify cattle shedding high levels of E. coli O157:H7 in feces. Fecal, hide, and carcass prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 within truckload were significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with each other. Enriched fecal sample prevalence was 13.8%, and high shedder prevalence was 3.3%; 38.5% of hides and 10.5% of carcasses were positive for E. coli O157:H7. We used logistic regression to assess animal- and truckload-level variables affecting the probability of carcasses testing positive for E. coli O157:H7. All truckload-level predictors significantly affected the probability of an E. coli O157:H7–positive carcass, including presence of a high shedder within the truckload (odds ratio [OR] = 4.0; confidence interval [CI], 1.6 to 10.1), high (>25%) within-truckload fecal prevalence (OR = 19.3; CI, 4.7 to 79.0), and high (>50%) within-truckload hide prevalence (OR = 7.7; CI, 3.1 to 19.6). The only significant animal-level predictor was having a positive hide (OR = 1.6; CI, 1.0 to 2.6). Our results suggest that preharvest interventions for reducing E. coli O157:H7 contamination of carcasses should focus on truckload (cohort)–level and hide mitigation strategies.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-5606, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more