Food Safety

In order to maintain consumer demand for beef domestically and internationally, research and innovation focus on improving food safety interventions, methods to quantify their effectiveness, and the development of strategies that counteract multiple pathogens.

Further research is needed to improve food safety along the beef supply chain and demonstrate responsible antimicrobial use.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance occurs naturally when the genetic make-up of microbes is altered in a manner that makes them no longer susceptible to antimicrobials designed to kill them or prevent their growth. In Canada, surveillance indicates that resistance levels in cattle and beef are extremely low and have not increased over time. Research and surveillance evidence suggests that eliminating antimicrobial use in beef production would have clear negative health consequences for cattle with no obvious benefit for human health. Read More...

Distillers' Grains

Distillers’ grains are a by-product from the process of grain-based ethanol production and can be used as an economical commodity in feeding cattle. As long as bioethanol production continues at current levels, the feedlot industry in Canada will feed distillers’ grains in order to produce beef as efficiently as our trading partners. Most distillers’ grains in North America come from corn with some from sorghum and wheat. Corn distillers’ grains are sold produced in Eastern Canada and the U.S. Wheat distillers’ grains, or a mixture of wheat and corn, are produced in Western Canada. Read More...

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli (short for Escherichia coli) is a species of bacteria naturally occurring in digestive tracts and are needed to keep animals healthy. There are hundreds of different strains. Most strains are beneficial or harmless to animals, including humans. A few strains can be dangerous to people. E. coli O157:H7 is one strain of the dangerous strains and is shed in the manure of many warm-blooded animals, including deer, geese, dogs and cattle. E. coli O157:H7 is harmless to most animals but is dangerous to humans, especially to those with an immature or weakened immune system, because it produces a toxin that can cause severe illness. People can become infected by consuming undercooked meats or water that was contaminated by E. coli O157:H7. Cow-calf producers, feedlots, transporters, processors, retailers and consumers all play an important role in reducing or eliminating incidences of E. coli O157:H7. Read More...

In-plant Mitigation of Pathogens

There are no bacteria in the muscles of healthy cattle, but when meat surfaces are exposed during dressing operations, they can be contaminated with bacteria from the hide, gastrointestinal tract, or slaughter plant environment. Minimizing the transfer of bacteria to the carcass, and treating the carcass or meat to reduce or eliminate the bacteria that are transferred ensures the microbiological safety of beef. Read More...

On-farm Practices to Improve Food Safety

Cow-calf producers and feedlot managers have an important role to play in food safety. On-farm practices help to avoid certain food safety concerns at processing facilities to help ensure the safety and confidence of consumers. Practices at the farm level are particularly critical to avoid contamination of meat by chemical residues and broken needle fragments.

  • Effectiveness of a Vaccine and Direct-fed Microbial for Controlling E.coli O157:H7 in Canadian Feedlot Cattle
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  • Exploring potential benefits of prebiotic, probiotic, and symbiotic use in cattle
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  • Exploring potential benefits of prebiotic, probiotic, and synbiotic use in cattle
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