Although Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have been isolated from a variety of food production animals, they are most commonly associated with ruminants from which we derive meat and milk. Because of the widespread and diverse nature of ruminant-derived food production, coupled with the near ubiquity of STEC worldwide, there is no single definitive solution for controlling STEC that will work alone or in all situations. Instead, the introduction of multiple interventions applied in sequence, as a “multiple-hurdle scheme” at several points throughout the food chain (including processing, transport and handling) will be most effective.
This report summarizes the review and evaluation of interventions applied for the control of STEC in cattle, raw beef and raw milk and raw milk cheese manufactured from cows’ milk, and also evaluates available evidence for other small ruminants, swine and other animals. The information is presented from primary production, to the end of processing, providing the reader with information on the currently available interventions based on the latest scientific evidence.
This work was undertaken to support the development of guidelines for the control of STEC in beef, raw milk and cheese produced from raw milk by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH).