Chapter 21 : “Preharvest” Food Safety for O157 and Other Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Strains

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Upton Sinclair's novel, , which described horrific conditions in historical Chicago meat packing plants, engendered numerous reforms and regulations of the industry, including the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act of 1906, which in turn led to vast improvements in the sanitary conditions under which meat and meat products were handled. The massive and highly publicized 1993 outbreak of O157 associated with Jack in the Box had a similar broad impact for the microbiological safety of food, including the classification of this pathogen as an “adulterant” in ground beef, and led to the implementation of the formal Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Program for this bacterium and other food-borne agents in meat processing plants. These changes were credited with significant reduction in the incidence of human infection with O157 in the United States over the subsequent several years; however, this trend did not continue, and in recent years the incidence of disease due to O157 has remained stubbornly stable. Incidence of disease caused by non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing (STEC) has paradoxically steadily increased, although this trend is undoubtedly due in part to increased use of more efficient diagnostic procedures.

Citation: Besser T, Schmidt C, Shah D, Shringi S. 2015. “Preharvest” Food Safety for O157 and Other Pathogenic Shiga Toxin-Producing Strains, p 437-456. In Sperandio V, Hovde C (ed), Enterohemorrhagic and Other Shiga Toxin-Producing . ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0021-2013
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