Federal regulators will be meeting to discuss the incidence of E. coli outbreaks and illnesses that can be attributed to E. coli strains that produce Shiga-toxins, but are not E. coli O157:H7.

For years, E. coli 0157:H7 has been the only strain being the focus of government oversight and has prompted massive nationwide food recalls. But evidence has been piling up in the past several years to show there are other forms of dangerous E. coli bacteria that may be just as deadly to humans.

While the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list just 501 cases of illness caused by these other dangerous E. coli bacteria in 2005, the number is probably much greater than that, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond said.