Investigators were recently was awarded a grant of more than $500,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture to study an integrated approach to pre-harvest control of toxin-producing E. coli, according to the Nevada News.
Currently, the beef industry has used post-harvest methods to “clean” beef, such as washing or sterilizing the meat after production.
Hussein S. Hussein, professor of veterinary medicine at the University of Nevada, Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, is working on a method to “clean” an animal prior to harvesting, and believes that microbial hazards associated with pre-harvest phases of beef production can be manipulated by diet.
“We plan on playing with the diet of the animal, so that we can in a sense ‘clean’ the animal before slaughter,” says Hussein.
The two-year study will look into mixing a variety of known forages and grains in the diet of the participating animals.