Distiller's grain may Increase E. coli in cattle
After corn is processed to make ethanol, the byproduct known as "wet distiller's grains with solubles" (WDGS) is sometimes used as a cattle feed ingredient.
U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists in Clay Center, Neb., are studying the pros and cons of that practice. And in early experiments with 608 steers, the researchers found that the incidence and prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in manure, and the incidence on hides, was significantly higher for cattle whose corn-based feed included 40 percent WDGS than those whose feed did not include WDGS.
This finding was reported this week by Marcia Wood of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
Food Safety News, a Web-based newpaper by a food safety law firm, said this adds more information to the debate over whether beef from grass-fed animals is safer than beef from grain-finished animals.
Last year, research reported in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, called into question the conventional wisdom that meat from grass-fed cows is safer than meat from grain-fed cows, Food Safety News said. That study found no differences in the percentages of E. coli isolates between the two groups.