Downer Cows
horsewriter

Freetown, IN

#1 Mar 28, 2008
Info from document:

Characterization of Eschericia Coli 0157:H7 from Downer and Healthy Dairy Cattle in the Upper Midwest Region of the United States, published August 1, 2003

Quoting directly from the document:

Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is a pathogen of significant public health concern in the United States, causing an estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths per year. Cattle have been identified as a reservoir of the pathogen and ground beef is often implicated in outbreaks of E. Coli 0157:H7. Cull dairy cows account for approximately 17 % of the ground beef produced in the U.S., 1.5% of which comes from downer animals, that is animals with assorted maladies that render them non-ambulatory. Therefore, downer dairy cattle harboring E.coli 0157:H7 at slaughter may be an important source of contamination of meat and may contribute appreciably to the health risk associated with ground beef.

A study mentioned in the preceding document indicated that downer cattle have a 3.3 higher prevalence of E Coli, compared with healthy cattle.

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