So, what’s with Nebraska Beef? Nine people in southeast Nebraska have tested positive for E. coli infections, and health officials said a community event may be to blame for some of the illnesses. E. coli at nother potluck?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that every year at least 2000 Americans are hospitalized, and about 60 die as a direct result of E. coli infections and its complications. A recent study estimated the annual cost of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses to be $405 million (in 2003 dollars) which included $370 million for premature deaths, $30 million for medical care, and $5 million for lost productivity (Frenzen, Drake, and Angulo, 2005).