USDA adopts more accurate E. coli test.
Following one of the worst outbreaks of E. coli 0157:H7
contamination in U.S. history, the Clinton Administration said federal
meat inspectors immediately would begin using a more accurate method of
detecting the deadly bacteria in raw meat. Agriculture Secretary Dan
Glickman said the new method of detecting E. coli in raw meat was about
four times more sensitive than previous methods, increasing the chances
of the government finding low levels of the bacteria in meat. The
announcement came as health officials investigate the outbreak late last
month at an upstate New York county fair that killed a toddler and left
10 other children with kidney failure. Nearly 500 cases are suspected of
being caused by contaminated well water at the fair in Greenwich, N.Y.
Health officials said 51 people were hospitalized because of infection
with the bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea and death.