Rodney Moxley

(Moxley) We’re actually in the 4th year of this big project. It’s a $25 million dollar grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It involves Shiga toxin producing E. coli. It’s specifically the ones that would be considered to be adulterants in beef. We actually have 16 institutions involved across the country. Fourteen of these are universities, two are federal laboratories, USDA and the Los Alamos National Defense Laboratory. And so Kansas State actually has a very big role in this. The overarching goal of this research is to reduce the public health risk to these organisms. They are extremely infectious to people, very low numbers can make you sick. We are finding out through developed methodologies that these organisms are highly prevalent in cattle. They are quite variable. I mean pens of cattle in one feedlot will have…one pen will have much different dynamics than another. From the post harvest in, one of the findings that we can see is, from all practical aspects we can say that nano 157 tend to behave the same as O157 in terms of thermal susceptibility cooking, in terms of interventions like lactic acid or other organic acids that the beef might be treated with. So, in general although we need to continue to do work to validate this, we have 52 scientists, as I said, at 62 institutions working on numerous projects. I’m confident we will make some very, very significant accomplishments and impacts. We already have. And we’re just really in the thick of it right now.

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