Co-op asks grocers, restaurants to pitch in for safer beef

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MEADE, Kan. – Retail grocers and restaurants are being asked by a cooperative of cattle producers and feedyards to join them in creating a national system to eliminate E. coli from beef products. Members of VeriPrime Inc., Meade, Kan., representing 65 percent of the nation's fed cattle, are asking retailers to collect one penny-per-serving to incorporate on-farm interventions designed to remove pathogens from beef products and monitoring of the effectiveness of the system.

VeriPrime’s 45-day campaign goal is to implement interventions at the source. The cooperative will begin by using beneficial probiotics and immunization of cattle.

"Cattle producers know these interventions are effective against E. coli," said Dr. Scott Crain, DVM, CEO of VeriPrime. "The problem has always been the funding to implement the system. All we are asking of retail grocers and restaurants is that they simply collect a penny to reimburse the cost of the interventions."

Crain said the system will work only with widespread adoption. "The greater the level of participation by the beef chain, the greater the impact on making beef safety better," he added.

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