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E.U. Food Safety Agencies Focus on STEC


Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) is emerging as a significant cause of foodborne infection. The Food Standards Agency of Scotland has recently declared STEC as an adulterant since many products are not cooked before consumption. Although E.coli 0157 is the predominant strain responsible for severe infection with hospitalization, other non-0157 STEC strains are responsible for foodborne outbreaks.

It is evident that there needs to be standardization of laboratory procedures to both detect and identify STEC strains coupled with databases which reflect outbreaks in various nations in which foods derived from common sources are consumed.