Researchers from Kansas State University have concluded that cattle that are fed distiller’s grain, a byproduct of ethanol production, have an increased incidence of E. coli O157:H7.

T.G. Nagaraja, a professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Jim Drouillard, a professor of animal sciences at Kansas State, conducted research to determine whether diet influences the number of bacteria in an animal’s gut.

“Feeding cattle distiller’s grain is a big economic advantage for ethanol plants," Nagaraja said. "We realize we can’t tell cattle producers, ‘Don’t feed distiller’s grain.’ What we want to do is not only understand the reasons why 0157 increases, but also find a way to prevent that from happening."