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Scrutinizing ‘Super-Shedder’ Cattle

A recent article by the American Society of Animal Science’s Taking Stock highlighted checkoff-funded research that analyzed the impact of ‘super-shedder’ cattle on the spread of E. coli O157:H7. On average, the research found, about 2 percent of the cattle grazing in a pasture or eating high-energy rations in a feedlot pen may be ‘super-shedders’ who shed high levels of pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli O157:H7 in their manure. The research is the first to show that, in ‘super-shedders’, O157 colonization may occur not just in the lower digestive tract but also throughout the animal’s entire digestive system and is not restricted to any particular O157 strain. This information could be quite beneficial in evaluation of slaughter-facility sanitation procedures.

Improving Food Safety

The Beef Checkoff has developed another tool to assist beef processors in strengthening their safety systems. The Utilization of Microbial Data to Improve Food Safety Systems Guidance document will assist operations in tapping their microbiological data to improve food safety. Microbiological data supports many facets of food businesses and affects a multitude of decisions that companies make regarding products, processes, equipment, facilities and ultimately their food safety systems.

For additional information, check out these sites:

Consumers looking for nutrition and dietary information about beef can go to to order or download materials and research information, or find a schedule of nutrition events and seminars.
Consumers, producers and other industry professionals can go to for summaries of checkoff-funded research in the areas of beef safety, human nutrition, product enhancement and market research, projects which provide the foundation for checkoff programs in promotion, marketing, education, information and foreign marketing.
Safety is a priority of the beef industry and,  houses information about the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo), its discussions and meetings, an application to join the council, and consumer information about beef safety.
Finding new convenient cuts is one very successful way the checkoff has helped add value to the beef carcass over the years. In cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is the industry’s primary beef cut resource.
Checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance program information is available at where you can find systematic information about coupling proper animal-husbandry techniques with accepted scientific knowledge to improve the quality of the end beef products.
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a misunderstood but potentially serious animal disease. For the most accurate information, turn to, an informational site housing current information regarding for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.
While never occurring in the United States, is an informational site housing current information regarding foot-and-mouth disease for consumers, producers and beef industry representatives.


Research - Archive

According to the Beef Act, research means studies relative to the effectiveness of market development and promotion efforts, studies relating to the nutritional value of beef and beef products, other related food science research including beef safety and pathogen research, product-enhancement research, market research and new product development research. Checkoff-funded research aims to maintain and increase consumer confidence in beef and beef products and provides the basis for development of program focus in all areas of checkoff investment by measuring market demands and tracking the state of the industry. The checkoff cannot fund cattle production research.

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