USDA/NIFA $25 Million Dollar Grant

(Randy) We are in the home stretch of this USDA NIFA, a $25 million dollar grant which spans five years. And it’s getting to be really exciting because some of the larger more integrated projects are coming to a head and we’re seeing large amounts of data and large amounts of results that we’re reporting now. But with this grant to control shiga toxigenic E. coli throughout the beef system, we’ve had about 14 universities along with some other agencies involved, over 50 PhD level scientists for the last four years. And we’ve addressed everything you can imagine related to shiga toxigenic E. coli in the beef system. Where does it hang out on the farm and the biology associated with that in feedlots, in the packing plants? My area especially has been intervention treatment, how do we control it and get rid of it at the beef processing level? But then we’ve done a lot of work with education and outreach for all kinds of people, from food service workers to pantry workers to 4-H students and high school students. So it’s just been a very large integrated and dynamic project to be involved with. I think the base information that we really had to have up front, with shiga toxigenic E. coli everyone has known for many years since the mid-90s about E. coli 0157H7 and that’s been the basis of our food safety programs in the beef industry. But we really knew very little about the additional six escherichia types of E. coli, the cousins of 0157, and so we’ve gained a tremendous amount of knowledge of the epidemiology and the ecology of these of these additional strains. In my area, as far as controlling them, fortunately they seem to behave very much like 0157H7. So, what we have in place for the last 20 years in the industry works equally as well against these. So, that was good news for us and for the processors. Technically we will be finished at the end of December of this year, but we expect to get a one year, no-cost extension to finish up our work. So, that would carry us through the end of 2017. But we still have a tremendous number of research projects in line and going on right now. And so it’s going to be around the clock research for this last 20 months or so. Particularly, I’ll be doing a lot of work here at K-State looking at new technologies for washing carcasses or for decontaminating processed meats and things like that. So, there’s several new technologies that we’re interested in doing research on.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.