Dr. Richard A. Raymond is Medical Doctor from Nebraska.  Since July 2005, he has been Undersecretary for Food Safety at the United States Department of Agriculture.  He was asked by the U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations why there’s been an uptick in e coli-related recalls.

Dr. Raymond listed several reasons why e coli related recalls involved only a few thousand pounds in 2006 to 33 million pounds in 2007.   Among those reasons:

  • More sensitive testing
  • More use of Pulsenet by state and local/regional health officers, which can connect distant confirmed cases into a single outbreak.
  • Changes he has made to Food Safety & Inspection Service policies to be more aggressive in using recalls.
  • And finally, what the former rural medical doctor called "Raymond’s theory."  He believes there has been "an increased load" of e coli in the hind  guts of cattle. 

Dr. Raymond, Nebraska’s former chief medical officer, did not say what he thinks increased the load.