I've been collecting items on food safety for the last week or two. Here's a roundup:
Antibiotics in animal agriculture
USA Today does great editorial point/counterpoints and here is one from July 12 on use of antibiotics as growth promoters or as prophylactics in farm animals and poultry. This selects for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. If we get infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, too bad for us.
SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent)/flickr
The paper's editors think that use of antibiotics for these purposes is irresponsible: Our view on food safety: To protect humans, curb antibiotic use in animals.
Dr. Howard Hill, a veterinarian who directs the National Pork Producers Council, defends these uses of antibiotics: Don't bar animal antibiotics.
The source of the 2006 E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak in California spinach
USDA and UC Davis investigators are still trying to figure out how the toxic E. coli O157:H7 got onto the spinach. Investigators did not find the bacteria on the spinach field itself, but they did find it in water, cattle, and cattle feces at a cattle crossing over a stream one mile away. Leading hypotheses: runoff from that stream or wild boar.
Subsequent studies showed low levels of E. coli 0157:H7 in wild animals and birds. A new study confirms that just under four percent of wild boar harbor the bacteria.