Water Tank Management May Reduce Contaminant

E. coli 0157:H7 has been a major area of concern in the food industry for years, and for good reason.
Every year more than 63,000 illnesses and 20 deaths are attributed to exposure to the toxin-producing pathogen.
It can come from a variety of foods, including beef, raw milk and juice, soft cheeses made from raw milk and raw fruits and vegetables.
Working to find sources of this bacteria in cattle, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine researchers hypothesized water contamination might be at issue.
If it were, that could offer one way to try to limit the spread of E. coli 0157:H7.
Renata Ivanek is associate professor of epidemiology at Cornell, and senior author of the paper that reported testing of this hypothesis.
Trials over two summers looked at water levels in automatically refilling troughs in feedyards in the Texas Panhandle.
Researchers wanted to see what, if any, effect water levels had on fecal shedding of E. coli 0157:H7.
At the end of the day, the team found water was a source of the pathogen’s spread; but also that water levels in the troughs played a role.

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