Must-read piece from food safety attorney Bill Marler on non-0157 E. coli:
In 2010 there are still lethal strains of E. coli that some parts of our government do not regulate in the food supply. E. coli O157:H7 has been considered an adulterant in food since 1994 by USDA/FSIS, but nonâ€“O157 strains, which can be just as devastating, are not. As a result, non-O157 strains of E. coli are not regulated or even regularly tested for in our meat supply.
Currently, there are two separate outbreaks emerging involving the non-O157 strains E. coli O1111 and E. coli O145. More than 50 people have fallen ill since April 7th although neither has yet been linked to a specific food product.
Like their notorious counterpart E. coli O157:H7, E. coli serogroups O26, O111, O145, and others have truly become a major public health problem. Annually in the United States they account for 37,000 illnesses and 30 deaths.
It gets worse if you keep readingâ€”and, surprise, surprise, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service is dragging its heels in dealing with the problem. Link.