Over the years, I have not been very kind to Cargill – we tend not to be on good terms. So, when one of the world’s largest food companies tries to do something right, I need to say, “hat’s off.”

According to the Journal Star and Cattle Networks, Cargill Meat Solutions is testing a vaccine that could protect consumers from E. coli in feedlots near its Fort Morgan, Colorado plant according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

The vaccine is tested at about a dozen feedlots on 100,000 cattle. The cattle receiving the vaccine go to the Fort Morgan plant in the May-September period. E. coli is a concern found primarily in ground beef.

One thing the article pointed out is that there’s no premium attached for cattle producers who use the vaccine so they absorb the costs along with feed and other health treatments for their livestock. Feedlot operators say in order for the vaccine to have a meaningful impact it needs to become an industry-wide practice.

Another alternative is for the government to step up and give a financial incentive to beef producers, not only for this vaccine, but also for all reasonable and safe food safety interventions. For goodness sake, how much money did we throw at the banks and Wall Street?

Kudos to Cargill.

  • Dr Raymond

    My blog yesterday pointed out how the Government subsidizes vaccines for children thru many venues, and for many diseases, most of which we hardly ever see any more because of the vaccine programs successes. Diseases like Small Pox (gone), Polio, Diptheria, Rubella and Tetanus. Why not vaccinate cattle to protect children?
    BTW, I disagree with your statement “E coli is a concern found primarily in ground beef”. As I pointed out in last weeks blog, in only 20% of outbreaks of E coli with a defined source was ground beef the culprit. In outbreaks that were food borne, produce had more confirmed sources than ground beef. Other sources not food borne include person to person, recreational water, petting zoos and just visiting farms with beef, etc. PulseNet and PFGs have made our attribution amazingly better, and ground beef is decreasing percentage wise as the culprit on an annual basis.
    The above is why I blogged for the Feds to pay for the vaccine. Get it out of the cattle, and out of the runoff water, and then out of ponds, rivers, produce, feral pigs feet and guts, etc.