News last update:6 Aug 2012

More E. coli O157 when feeding DDGS

Recent research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed distiller's grain have an increased prevalence of E. coli 0157 in their hindgut.

E. coli O157  is present in healthy cattle but poses a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through undercooked meat, raw dairy products and produce contaminated with cattle manure. The growth in ethanol plants means more cattle are likely to be fed distiller's grain, therefore harboring 0157 and potentially a source of health risks to humans, according to T.G. Nagaraja, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Twice as high
A study on the carcass quality of cattle fed distiller's grains showed that the prevalence of 0157 was about twice as high in cattle fed distiller's grain compared with those cattle that were on a diet lacking the ethanol byproduct. According to Nagaraja it could be something that changes in the animals' hindgut as a result of feeding distiller's grains, or maybe the byproduct provides a nutrient for the bacteria.

Understand it
"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."

Related news:
Chlorate additive cuts back Salmonella and E. coli

Related link:
Kansas State University

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