Richard L. Bond
Tyson Foods, Inc.
NEWSA quarterly update on research, education and information
July 2002 Volume 4 Issue: 3
J. Patrick Boyle ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
American Meat Institute
Possible Government Actions To Reduce U.S.
BSE Risks Could Be Expensive, Ineffective
Hatfield Quality Meats
A new AMIF analysis shows that Under option one, USDA would
risk reduction actions outlined in a designate brain, spinal cord and any
USDA “thinking paper” on bovine material contaminated with brain
Henry A. Davis spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and spinal cord from cattle 24 months
Greater Omaha Packing Co., Inc.
could cost hundreds of millions of or older as “specified risk materials”
Timothy T. Day dollars a year with few risk reduction or SRMs. This designation would
Bar-S Foods Co.
benefits because the U.S. is already prohibit their use for human food.
William Fielding BSE-free and has strong firewalls in Under option two, USDA would
Farmland Industries, Inc.
place to prevent the cattle disease. prohibit the use of the vertebral
Neil Genshaft The analysis was done for AMIF by column from non-ambulatory cattle,
Fresh Mark, Inc. Sparks Companies, Inc. and possibly from any cattle 24
William A. Geoppinger In November 2001, a risk assess- months or older, as a source material
Sara Lee Foods ment for USDA by Harvard University in advanced meat recovery (AMR)
showed that the chance of BSE systems, which use pressure to trim
Griffin Industries, Inc. occurring in U.S. herds is extremely meat from bones.
James H. Hodges
small and that if it did occur, safe- The third option would prohibit
American Meat Institute guards would rapidly contain the cheek meat from cattle 24 months or
animal disease. In Spring 2002, older and all non-ambulatory cattle
Joel W. Johnson
Hormel Foods Corporation USDA published a “thinking paper” from human food if the meat is not
detailing three key policy options that removed before the skull is split.
Carl W. Kuehne
American Foods Group
might reduce the small risk even
further. Continued on page 5
Kenneth E. Leonard
Pediocin Combined With Thermal Pasteurization,
L& H Packing Company
Joseph W. Luter, III
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Irradiation Shows Promise
Premium Standard Farms AMIF Study Shows Treatments Delay Listeria Growth
David Miniat An Iowa State University study packaging. A five-strain cocktail of
Ed Miniat, Inc.
funded by the AMI Foundation reveals L.m. was added just before vacuum
Daniel Ochylski that treatments of pediocin on frank- sealing. Frankfurters were packaged
Pinnacle Food Group
furters, when combined with either in arrangements of 10 links in two
Stewart K. Owens irradiation or pasteurization, can rows of five, five links in one row, and
Bob Evans Farms, Inc. significantly reduce the presence in single link packages.
Rick Searer Listeria monocytogenes (L.m.) and Treatment combinations included
Oscar Mayer Foods inhibit future L.m. growth during Alta 2341® with post-packaging
John Simons storage. Pediocin is a bacteriocin thermal pasteurization at 81 degrees
ConAgra Beef Company produced by Pediococcus acidilactici. Continued on page 6
The project, conducted by a team of
Fred Usinger, Inc. researchers at ISU led by Dr. Joseph Inside this Issue...
G. Sebranek, was published in April
W. Dan Wright
Wright Brand Foods, Ltd. 2002. Science Soundbites 2
In the study, Alta 2341®, a com- Equipment Design Task Force 2
mercially available pediocin source, Antibiotic Resistance Issues 3
was sprayed on the frankfurters in USDA Listeria Research 5
two arbitrary-unit concentrations
Ongoing Research 7
after peeling and before vacuum
AMI Foundation News
AMI Equipment Design Task Force Sets Sanitary Design Principles
The AMI Equipment Design Task Force (EDTF) maintenance, cleaning and/or sanitation.
has established a list of sanitary design principles • Made of Compatible Materials: Construction
and recommended a certification process to ensure materials should be compatible with the product,
the equipment meets these criteria. environment, cleaning and sanitizing chemicals
The EDTF, chartered by the Listeria Task Force, is and the methods of cleaning and sanitation.
comprised of representatives from eight meat and • No Product or Liquid Collections: Equipment
poultry processing companies. Equipment design should be self-draining to ensure that the food
principles were established in an effort to inhibit product, water or product liquid does not accumu-
the growth of Listeria on plant equipment. AMI and late, pool or condense on the equipment.
the EDTF have worked in consultation with equip- • Hollow Areas Hermetically Sealed: Hollow
ment manufacturers and government officials to areas of equipment must be eliminated where
establish the following 10 design principles: possible or permanently sealed. Bolts, studs,
• Cleanable to a Microbiological Level: Food mounting plates, brackets, junction boxes, name-
equipment must be designed to ensure effective and plates, end caps, sleeves and other such items must
efficient cleaning and sanitation over the life of the be continuously welded to the surface of the equip-
• Accessible for Inspection, Maintenance, • Sanitary Operational Performance: During
Cleaning and Sanitation: All parts of the equip- normal operations, equipment must perform so as
ment should be easily accessible for inspection, Continued on page 6
Hydrodynamic Shock Waves Can Enhance Meat Tenderness
A new meat tenderization process via electri- Dioxin is a natural by-product of man-made and
cally generated hydrodynamic shock waves im- natural chemical reactions. Scientists have con-
proves tenderness in lower grade beef by 20 to 30 cluded that dioxin tends to accumulate in fat and
percent, according to meat scientist James Claus that excessive long-term exposure may cause
of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The adverse health effects, including cancer. Experts
technology also works in pork and chicken. estimate that about 95 percent of human dioxin
In this new process, shock waves travel through exposure comes from food.
the meat, breaking some of the tiny fibers in the Although U.S. and EU foods currently have similar
muscle cells. This tenderizes the meat and im- dioxin levels, analysis of U.S. data indicates that
proves its ability to absorb and retain moisture. U.S. agricultural exports unavoidably will surpass
Claus found that meat tenderized with this process the maximum EU dioxin limits for consumption.
and injected with marinade afterward retained five Much of the food will also fail to pass the “action
percent more marinade than untreated meat. level” at which a food is consumable, but triggers an
Data have shown that the process can have an investigation to identify its dioxin source in the food
antimicrobial effect. The process could significantly chain.
shorten broiler processing by significantly improv- A low initial sampling rate of 1,500 per year for
ing the tenderness of chicken breasts removed from the entire EU and the entire variety of affected foods
the bone before broiler storage on ice. ensures that rejection rates initially will be low, but
Hydrodyne Inc. of San Juan, Puerto Rico, provided a rejection from this small sample pool could lead to
the small-truck-sized machine Claus evaluated. a negative image for the sampled food and country of
Hydrodyne Inc. holds patents for tenderizing meat export, U.S. experts say.
with electrically generated hydrodynamic shock The U.S. objected to the dioxin testing during a
waves. comment period provided by the EU in accord with
World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. U.S. officials
The European Union (EU) began enforcing a new said there is insufficient evidence of a public health
dioxin restriction on food and feed July 1. Al- threat from dioxin and questioned the EU’s unclear
though most U.S. meat products have already been implementation guidelines. There is no evidence
eliminated from export to the EU by other EU health that the EU will reconsider its dioxin restriction.
restrictions, dioxin restrictions could impact U.S.
exports of livestock byproducts, other foods and
AMI Foundation News
Antibiotic Resistance Issues Move Into Spotlight
Animal Health Institute Expert Richard Carnevale, VMD, Offers Latest Science on Issue
Many questions surround human and animal resistant foodborne pathogens to affect public health
antibiotic use and the issue of antibiotic resistance. is declining.
AMIF Newsletter staff posed a series of questions to
Richard Carnevale, VMD, vice president, regulatory, Q: To what degree are antibiotics overpre-
scientific and international affairs at the Animal scribed in the human population?
Health Institute. Dr. Carnevale’s responses follow. A: It’s a good question and there are many esti-
mates. Clearly, there is widespread agreement that
Q: To what degree do you believe the public spread of resistant pathogens in hospitals, nursing
understands or misunderstands the issue of homes and other institutional facilities combined
antibiotic resistance? with overuse of certain antibiotics are the major
A: We know from consumer research that the causes of antibiotic resistance problems in hu-
issue of antibiotic resistance, as it pertains to mans. The other problem is not from over-prescrip-
meat, is not a top-of-mind issue for consumers. tion, but from lack of patient compliance in finish-
Consumers generally associate resistance with the ing a prescribed regimen of therapy, leading to a
issue of human use of antibiotics. We also know greater likelihood that resistant strains will arise.
from research that the simplistic story that some
groups have tried to communicate – that antibiotic Q: We hear conflicting information about the
use in animals results in resistance in human proportion of veterinary antibiotics used to treat
pathogens – has confused consumers, and to the illness and the proportion used for growth promo-
extent they tie meat to resistant bacteria in hu- tion. What is your best estimate?
mans, they mistakenly believe it comes as a result A: AHI annually surveys its members – producers
of antibiotic residues in meat. of animal health products – about the amount of
antibiotics sold for animal use each year. Each
Q: What does the science show are the roots of year, results consistently show about 87 percent of
antibiotic resistance for microorganisms associ- antibiotics sold to the veterinary market are for the
ated with human illness? treatment, control and prevention of disease, and 13
A: First of all, the serious problems with resistant percent for growth promotion.
pathogens in humans primarily occur with those Antibiotics are approved and used for four specific
infections that are not linked to animal antibiotic purposes: treating disease, controlling disease,
use – things like tuberculosis, MRSA and VRE. preventing disease and enhancing growth. The
We know that use of antibiotics in animals will latter purpose is more accurately described as
select for resistant bacteria residing in animals, maintaining the health of the animal by shifting
just as the use of antibiotics in people will select for the balance of harmful bacteria in favor of beneficial
resistant bacteria in the human body. The question bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in
is, do those resistant bacteria in animals transfer to better nutrient utilization measured by feed effi-
humans, through food, in large enough doses to ciency and average daily gain.
cause diseases that lead to treatment that doesn’t
work? The answer is that there is no evidence it Q: Is the use of selected antibiotics for growth
has ever happened, and the opportunity for it to promotion safe? Or are we creating bacteria with
happen is declining. resistance to too many antibiotics that are also
While foodborne pathogens can cause illness in used for human disease intervention?
humans, doctors don’t treat the vast majority of A: Absolutely the use is safe. Safety to the ani-
these infections with antibiotics. Fluids, antidiar- mal, humans and the environment has to be dem-
rheal medicines, and time is usually all that is onstrated as part of FDA’s approval process. Other-
necessary to cure the illness. Scientific evidence wise, these products would not be on the market.
is conflicting as to whether antibiotics even affect Antibiotics have been used for these purposes in
the course of recovery, and, in some cases, they can animals for more than 40 years with no evidence
make things worse. And, government data shows that they pose a significant threat to public health.
the prevalence of pathogens in meat and poultry is On the contrary, the use of these products has
declining, due in large part to successful implemen- helped to provide an abundant and safe meat and
tation of improved meat processing and government poultry supply to consumers. Moreover, nearly 50
inspection programs. So with pathogens in meat percent of antibiotics used in animal feed have little
declining, and the trends in resistant foodborne or no relationship to those drugs used in human
bacteria in humans declining, the opportunity for medicine. Continued on page 4
AMI Foundation News
Continued from page three turkeys and only under the order of a licensed
Available government data demonstrates the veterinarian. It is used sparingly in about one to two
margin of safety is growing. The National Antimi- percent of birds in a given year. It is never used to
crobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), a promote growth.
collaborative effort of CDC, FDA and USDA, shows FDA has recently granted the sponsor of the
the trend in the incidence of resistant foodborne product a hearing on the proposed withdrawal, a
pathogens in humans is generally declining. strong indication that they do not have a clear
scientific case. FDA’s proposed withdrawal was in
Q: We now have antibacterial soaps and other large part based on the fact that NARMS data
products aimed at creating “clean” environments. showed human resistance to ciprofloxacin (a human
Are we too clean for our own good? fluoroquinolone) rose from 13 percent in 1998 to 18
A: Any use of antimicrobials creates resistance percent in 1999. However, the recently-published
pressure. We do need to be careful and cautious in 2000 data shows a decrease to 14 percent. There is
our use of these products. That’s why in the veteri- no evidence that use of fluoroquinolones in poultry
nary medical community we continue to educate is a threat to public health. Withdrawal of use is a
and promote the need to adhere to prudent use threat to the health of poultry and the safety of food
principles. and their use should be continued.
Q: Some groups have suggested that potential Q: What is the future of the use of selected
antibiotic residues in meat and poultry will cause antibiotics as growth promotants?
antibiotic resistance in humans. Since the issue A: All of the products currently marketed have
really pertains to antibiotic resistance of microor- met all of the requirements FDA has mandated to
ganisms that may be present both in animals and assure their safety including tests to assess bacte-
in humans, doesn’t this imply that better educa- rial resistance concerns. Will the U.S. adhere to
tion of media and consumers is needed? science or follow Europe’s example of implementing
A: Residues are highly regulated and monitored the precautionary principle? Scientific evidence
by the federal government and do not pose a health shows these products to be safe and effective. If we
risk to consumers. As a result, consumers do not continue to make decisions based on science,
develop resistant pathogens as a result of antibiotic veterinarians and livestock and poultry producers
residues in meat. It is important for people – and will continue to use these tools that are important
the media – to understand that animals and people to producing healthy animals.
do not develop resistance; bacteria develop resis-
tance. This is an education challenge for all of us. Q: Can you address the impact on animals if
Educating the media is a key component, and FDA subtherapeutic antibiotic use was eliminated?
also has a strong platform and credibility that should A: We know from the European experience it
be used for this kind of education. would increase animal disease and thus decrease
our food safety protections.
Q: A very limited study in late 2001 suggested In Denmark, where some growth promotion
that meat and poultry purchased in the Washing- products were banned, therapeutic use increased 30
ton, DC, area was widely contaminated with percent in one year – a clear indication of increased
antibiotic resistant bacteria. If cooking destroys animal disease. Similar evidence from Sweden,
all bacteria, how concerned should consumers and France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland and the UK
policymakers be about this issue? shows the same story – the ban on growth promoters
A: You are right – an important public policy goal has resulted in greater use of antibiotics to treat
should be educating consumers on proper cooking disease in animals. In general, therapeutic com-
methods. Groups that are truly concerned about pounds are more important in human medicine
human health and not media platforms should also than growth promotion compounds, so there are
focus on consumer education. In addition, wide- significant questions about the benefits of this
spread irradiation could be a valuable tool in eradi- tradeoff.
cating foodborne pathogens. Sick animals increase pressure on other links in
the food chain to reduce pathogen contamination.
Q: What is your reaction to the FDA’s effort to For instance, we know that the intestinal tract of
withdraw approval for fluoroquinolones in poul- chickens is more likely to burst and spread patho-
try? gens in the processing plant due to increased
A: First of all, this drug is used only to treat prevalence of subclinical diseases that antibiotics
serious life-threatening infections in chickens and used in the feed prevent. Removal of these products
Continued on page 8
AMI Foundation News
AMIFs Huffman to Address International Meat Conference
AMIF’s Vice President of Scientific Affairs Randy In his address and journal article, Huffman will
Huffman, Ph.D., will address the International discuss how more intense microbiological testing
Congress of Meat Science and and improved microbiological methods have led to a
Technology in Rome, Italy, August greater awareness by industry and government of
25-30. Huffman will deliver a the levels of pathogens on meat carcasses and
paper “Current and Future Tech- products. The increased awareness has spurred
nologies for the Decontamination research and development into new anti-microbial
of Carcasses and Fresh Meat,” technologies.
which will be published in the A copy of Huffman’s paper will be available from
journal Meat Science. AMIF upon request after publication.
AMIF BSE Risk Analysis
Continued from page one these exports in 2001 exceeded $33 million. Option
1 would effectively eliminate this market. In
According to AMI Foundation President Jim addition, if these materials are designated SRMs
Hodges, “The options in USDA’s thinking paper and cannot be rendered into animal feed, the
would only be effective to protect public health if we packer will incur enormous disposal fees estimated
had BSE in this country, which we do not. BSE poses at $54 million per year. Additional recordkeeping
no risks via the meat supply because we do not and segregation costs also would be incurred.
have BSE in U.S. herds.” Hodges said the beef
industry supports contingency planning, but said Analysis: Option 2
the economic analysis by Sparks underscores the Under option two, AMR systems likely could not be
fact that the options outlined would be extremely used in any beef slaughter plants because it is
costly in a BSE-free nation without achieving any impossible to determine the age of cattle at the
significant risk reduction. time of slaughter and therefore vertebral columns
from all cattle would be excluded. Under this
Findings scenario, plants would not only lose their invest-
In its analysis, Sparks noted that USDA’s think- ment in existing AMR systems, they would also
ing paper targets animals that USDA believes to be incur costs in retrofitting the plant with alternative
at the highest risk of developing BSE - cattle 24 auto knife technology, higher labor expenses to
months or older and non-ambulatory cattle. USDA hand trim what was previously removed through
also suggests that the economic impact of this AMR systems and a direct reduction in meat yield.
position is relatively small because they represent a In addition, worker injuries – particularly cumula-
small percentage of all cattle slaughtered. tive trauma disorders — likely would increase as a
According to Sparks, there is currently no reliable result of repetitive hand trimming. Total costs of
and precise method to determine the age of cattle at this option are estimated at $190 million.
the time of slaughter. The risk analysis by Harvard
University suggested that as many as 34 percent of Analysis: Option 3
all steers and heifers are slaughtered at or beyond Most meat packers in the U.S. currently remove
24 months of age, while breeding cattle like cows cheek meat prior to splitting the skull. Industry-
and bulls overwhelmingly are slaughtered beyond wide impact is estimated to be minor and limited to
this age limit. Therefore, a “zero tolerance” policy some smaller packers who may incur costs of
would require meat packers to apply these regula- reconfiguring their slaughtering processes.
tions to all cattle entering the facility, even though “This study concludes that additional regulation of
such an action would provide a negligible reduction meat packing practices will cause real and signifi-
in what has already been deemed a very low risk of cant economic shocks and dislocations throughout
human exposure to BSE. the livestock complex,” the report says. “Even
According to Sparks, consumers, plant workers though these costs will be distributed widely, their
and livestock producers all would be impacted by the impacts will not disappear; they are more likely to
costs of these regulations. be amplified in the forms of reduced meat supplies
to consumers and reduced profitability to firms in
Analysis: Option 1 the livestock sector.”
While the domestic market for cattle brains and The complete analysis may be viewed at
intestines for human food is very small, the value of http://www.amif.org.
AMI Foundation News
Pediocin Spray Study AMI Equipment Design Task
Continued from page one
C for 60s, 96 degrees C for 60s and 120s respec- Force
tively, and Alta 2341® with post-packaging irradia- Continued from page two
tion at 1kGy and 2.3kGy respectively. Samples not to contribute to unsanitary conditions or the
were stored at 4 degrees C, 10 degrees C and 25 harborage and growth of bacteria.
degrees C for up to 12 weeks. All three packaging • Validated Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocols:
arrangements underwent the same combination Cleaning and sanitation procedures must be clearly
treatments. written and designed and proven to be effective and
The study found that irradiation had a strong efficient. Recommended cleaning and sanitizing
synergistic effect when combined with pediocin chemicals must be compatible with the equipment
treatment. Post-packaging irradiation at 2.3kGy and manufacturing environment.
combined with pediocin in both concentrations • No Niches: Equipment parts should be free of
virtually eliminated L.m. over the 12-week growth niches such as pits, cracks, corrosion, recesses,
period and greatly reduced growth during the stor- open seams, gaps, lap seams, protruding ledges,
age period. inside threads, bolt rivets and dead ends. All welds
Although the presence of pediocin in thermally must be continuous and fully penetrating.
pasteurized packages lengthened the initial lag • Hygienic Compatibility With Other Plant
phase before L.m. growth began, pediocin and ther- Systems: Equipment design must ensure hygienic
mal pasteurization combinations did not show a compatibility with other equipment and systems.
synergistic effect. Pediocin presence in these • Hygienic Design of Maintenance Enclosures:
samples lengthened the lag phase before L.m. Maintenance enclosures and machine controls
growth began, but later growth was dependent on must be designed, constructed and maintainable to
time and pasteurization method. Higher pasteur- ensure food product, water or product liquid does not
ization temperatures were found to produce slower penetrate into, or accumulate in or on, the enclo-
L.m. growth than lower pasteurization temperatures sure and interface. The enclosures also should be
applied for longer time periods. sloped or pitched to prevent use as a storage area.
Pediocin plus pasteurization treatments were These principles will be discussed in detail at the
partly affected by packaging as frankfurter-to- AMI Annual Convention and Innovation Showcase
frankfurter contact was found to protect L.m. from in New Orleans, October 24-26, 2002.
the heat process of pasteurization. Consequently,
pasteurization was not as effective in the five and
10-link packages as in single-link packaging.
Frankfurter quality factors were virtually unaf-
fected by the anti-listerial treatments. All treat-
ments, however, produced a slightly darker and
redder color than the control samples. Sensory
panelists found the texture score was firmer for
Upcoming AMIF Events
thermally pasteurized frankfurters, but this score
was not confirmed by instrumental texture mea- October 24 - 26, 2002
surements. Purge, odor, pH and TBA (an indicator of AMI Annual Convention
oxidation) were not significantly affected by any New Orleans Hilton, New Orleans, LA
AMI Foundation Vice President of Scientific October 24 - 26, 2002
Affairs Randall Huffman, Ph.D., emphasized that Meat Industry Research Conference (MIRC)
implementing a combination of anti-Listeria treat- Part of the Innovation Showcase
ments at the packaging stage can significantly New Orleans Hilton, New Orleans, LA
reduce the likelihood of contamination on RTE
products. December 4 - 5, 2002
“This research provides important data on three Implementing Listeria Intervention & Control
potential food safety tools that ready-to-eat (RTE) Workshop
meat and poultry manufacturers may be able to Hilton Cincinnati, Netherland Plaza
implement in the ongoing battle to eradicate L.m. Cincinnati, OH
from RTE products,” Huffman said.
The full research report is available for viewing at February 27 - 28, 2003
the AMI Foundation web site, http://www.amif.org. Animal Handling and Stunning Conference
Pediocin is available commercially from Quest Kansas City Marriott, Kansas City, MO
AMI Foundation News
Ongoing Research - Listeria monocytogenes
Investigator Institution Project Title
Amy C. Lee Wong University of Wisconsin Reduction of Listeria monocytogenes Biofilm
-Madison Formation in RTE Meat Processing Environments
Kalidas Shetty University of Elite Herb Extracts Containing High Rosmarinic
Massachusetts Acid and Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes in
Meat and Poultry Products
James Dickson Iowa State University Optimum Radiation Dose to Eliminate Listeria
monocytogenes in Packaged RTE Processed Meats
and Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in RTE
Processed Meats after Irradiation Processing
Harshavardhan Kansas State University Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat
Thippareddi Meats Using Cetyl Pyridinium Chloride (CPC) and
Shelf Life Extension of RTE Meats Treated with
Michael Doyle University of Georgia Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Food
Processing Facilities by Competitive Exclusion
Jimmy Keeton Texas A&M University Antimicrobial Effects of Surface Treatments and
Ingredients on Cured RTE Meat Products
Jack Losso Louisiana State Pathogen Inhibition and Shelf-Life of Raw and
University Precooked Meat with Protamine
Jeffrey Kornacki University of Georgia Recovery, Development and Validation of
Appropriate Surrogate Microorganisms in Meat
and Poultry Emulsions for In-plant Critical
Control Point Validation Studies
Jeffrey Kornacki University of Georgia The Role of Aerosols in Transmission of
Microorganisms (including Listeria) to Ready-to-
Eat Meat/Poultry Products
Ferencz Denes University of Wisconsin Plasma-Enhanced Disinfection of Surfaces, Air
-Madison And Water in Ready-To-Eat (RTE) Meat and
Poultry Processing Environments
Robert Vinopal, University of Development of Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)
Dick Jadamec Connecticut Applications for Listeria Detection and Monitoring
In-Plant Food Processing Plants
Ongoing Research - E. coli O157:H7
Investigator Institution Project Title
Andrew Benson University of Nebraska Distribution of Virulent and Avirulent Subclones
of E. coli O157:H7 in the U.S.
Dale Hancock Washington State Evaluation of Efficacy of a Bacteriophage System
University in Preventing or Modulating E. coli O157:H7
Infection of Cattle
Alison O’Brien Uniformed Services E. coli O157:H7 Intimin Expressed by Transgenic
University of the Health Plant Cells as a Candidate Oral Vaccine for Cattle
Michael Doyle University of Georgia Methods to Control E. coli O157:H7 in Drinking
Water for Cattle
Chobi DebRoy Pennsylvania State Competitive Exclusion of Escherichia coli O157
University using Non Pathogenic Colicin Producing
Escherichia coli Strains
Charles Kaspar University of Wisconsin The Use of Egg Yolk Anti-O157:H7
- Madison Immunoglobulin to Clear E. coli O157:H7 from
the Intestinal Tracts of Cattle
AMI Foundation News
Continued from page four of resistance in foodborne pathogens. We cannot
would make it harder for processors to reduce make informed management decisions without a
pathogens in their establishments, which compro- sound knowledge base about the trends and occur-
mises food safety. rence of resistance.
Second, we need sound risk assessment. We
Q: Could you also estimate the impact of know antibiotic resistance CAN be transferred. The
elimination of subtherapeutic antibiotic use on big question is, DOES it transfer with sufficient
the cost of food? frequency to cause a public health threat? So far,
A: Someone will absorb the increased cost. we believe the answer is no, due to careful govern-
There have been many studies estimating this ment control over the approval of products combined
impact. We know there is extreme sensitivity in with prudent use by veterinarians and producers.
the supply chain to any cost increase – witness We should set policy not on theoretical risks, but
McDonald’s recent decision to begin importing lean rather on an informed and deliberate process to
beef because of cost differences. More importantly, really define the potential impact or non-impact.
it is elitist to dismiss small price increases, as Risk assessment is the way to answer that ques-
many do. While many in our society can absorb tion.
increased costs, it is those who can least afford it
who will be hurt most by any increase in food costs. Q: What is the climate worldwide on the sub-
Our food policy should not be “survival of the fittest.” ject of antibiotic resistance as well as antibiotic
Moreover, no one need absorb increased costs use and overuse in both human and animal
that removal of antibiotics will lead to if there is no populations?
demonstrable public health benefit. A: Antibiotic resistance is an even more pressing
problem in many places around the world because of
Q: Looking into the crystal ball to 2012, what the indiscriminate use of antibiotics in humans
government policies do you anticipate we will see and animals. That has important implications for
in effect to address antibiotic resistance of micro- the U.S. because of the increased frequency of
organism that may be present in humans and foreign travel. It is clear that foreign travel is one of
animals? the major risk factors for contracting an antibiotic-
A: There are two policies that we should see in resistant foodborne disease. As a result, we cannot
order to effectively address antibiotic resistance. solve the problem of resistance by taking action only
First, NARMS needs to be fixed. We need better, here; any solution must be global in nature.
more robust, more scientifically valid surveillance
Q: Consumers are hearing a great deal of
advertising about the availability of meat and
AMIF Contacts poultry produced without the use of antibiotics,
which in turn raises questions and concerns.
All AMIF staff can be reached at 1700 North Moore What is your best advice to the concerned con-
Street, Suite 1600, Arlington, VA, 22209, phone 703/ sumer?
841-2400, or at the email addresses listed below. A: Be very careful and please be informed. In
almost every instance “antibiotic-free” products will
James H. Hodges, president, email@example.com cost more—without providing any additional benefit.
It is by no means any safer.
Randall Huffman, Ph.D., vice president, scientific In one study conducted in Denmark, organic
affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org chicken – raised without antibiotics – was three
times more likely to contain a disease-causing
Sara J. Lilygren, senior vice president, information, foodborne pathogen than chickens raised in a
email@example.com conventional way using antibiotics and other ani-
Patricia L. Pines, vice president, education, Consumers should know that “antibiotic free,”
firstname.lastname@example.org “hormone free,” or other such claims are marketing
based. The government agencies that assure the
Janet M. Riley, vice president, public affairs, safety of our meat and poultry supply do not support
email@example.com such claims as offering any real benefits to consum-
ers over conventional products.
Susan Backus, project manager,