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USDA is reconsidering how it regulates meatpacking plants because of research suggesting a deadly strain of bacteria is more prevalent in cattle than originally thought. Scientists had estimated that about 1 percent to 3 percent of cattle were infected with E. coli 0157:H7. But, USDA scientists using more sensitive technology that recently became available are finding the occurrence is much higher, said Thomas Billy, administrator of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. This does not mean the organism is more prevalent in the grocery store, but it could give USDA the legal justification to require packers to install new equipment and take other steps to detect and destroy the organism, Billy said.
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Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 15, 1999
Previous Article:Traditional Pure Beef, Inc.
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