1. To perform a comparative study on detection techniques for the Top Six STEC serotypes.
<P>2. Determine the prevalence of the Top Six serotypes and stx2 carrying E. coli in representative beef processing facilities within Ontario.
<P>3. Determine the carriage of the Top Six and stx2 carrying E. coli in retail ground beef sold within Ontario.
<P>4. Determine the inactivation kinetics of the Top Six serotypes when exposed to acid, thermal and high hydrostatic pressure.
Non-O157 STEC encompasses over 200 serotypes with six being implicated in fatal cases of HUS. This has led to FSIS to class the Top Six serotypes as adulterants. As a consequence, there is a need to determine the prevalence of the Top Six in Ontario beef processing and carriage in ground beef at retail. In addition, there is a need to advise industry on the relative performance of diagnostic tests to screen for the Top Six non-O157 E. coli STEC. In addition, it is important to verify that interventions for E. coli O157 are capable of controlling the pathogens.