Vaccine Tested to Prevent E. Coli-Tainted Beef

Cattle vaccine could curb strain of deadly bacteria
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2009 5:33 AM CST
Vaccine Tested to Prevent E. Coli-Tainted Beef
Workers package beef at the Creekstone Farm Premium Beef meatpacking plant in Arkansas City, Kan.    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

New vaccines are being tested that could make tainted beef scandals a thing of the past. The vaccines—currently undergoing large-scale trials after decades of bureaucratic delays—make cattle immune to the strain of E.Coli that kills dozens and sickens thousands of Americans every year. Scientists believe the combination of vaccination and slaughterhouse safeguards can prevent the surge in E. Coli cases that happens every summer.

Federal agencies relaxed regulations to allow the vaccines to be tested after a string of large-scale beef recalls, and more food-related vaccines may follow if the cattle trials are successful. "I hope it works,” one cattle rancher tells the New York Times. “It probably won’t be so good for my pocketbook directly, but it’ll probably be good for the industry.” (Read more tainted beef stories.)

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