New legislation would toughen E. coli rules
New York senator plans to introduce measure
Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will introduce legislation mandating a zero tolerance for not only E. coli O157, but six other enterohemorrhagic E. coli strains. These other pathogenic strains are associated with produce and fruit in addition to meat products.
Identifying the other E. coli strains is difficult because there are no approved commercial immuno-based rapid kits available. It is estimated that the six rarer E. coli strains could together be responsible for as many cases of intestinal and renal disease as O157, with a combined prevalence of 0.2% of ground beef samples examined by USDA compared to 0.3% for O157.