Sludge Watch ==> Feeding Cattle Distiller's Grain- Increase in E coli O157

Maureen Reilly maureen.reilly at
Thu Jan 31 00:25:34 EST 2008

Sludgewatch Admin;

We have already heard that making ethanol from corn and other food crops 
does not make sense from an energy perspective.  Its not 'green'.

Here is another negative fall out.  Distillers grain is a waste end point of 
the ethanol - making process.
It is sent to feed lots to feed cows.  Now we see this feed regime is 
associated with a great increase in Ecoli O157


Note:  The amount of distillers grain going to cattle feed has doubled in 
the past year.
More than 12 million metric tons of distillers grains were produced and sold 
in 2006/07, up from 8.4 million metric tons in 2005/06. Distillers grains 
production is expected to top 17 million metric tons in 2007/08.

Distillers' Grain In Cattle Feed May Contribute To E. Coli Infection
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2008)” A new study suggests that the addition of 
dried distillers grain, an ethanol by-product, to cattle feed may contribute 
to the prevalence of E. coli O157 infection in cattle. The researchers from 
Kansas State University, Manhattan report their findings in the January 2008 
issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Escherichia coli O157 is a significant food-borne pathogen of which cattle 
are major reservoirs. Colonization by E. coli O157 in cattle occurs in the 
gut and is shed in the feces. Diet is considered to be one of the factors 
influencing the prevalence and shedding of E. coli O157, emphasizing the 
need to examine dietary components and their impact on the physiological 
environment of the gut and the survival of E. coli O157.

Distillers grain is the coproduct that remains following the distillation of 
ethanol. It may be dehydrated to produce dried distillers grain (DDG) which 
is then commonly used as livestock feed. In the study cattle were 
administered one of three diets including: no dried distillers grain, 
steam-flaked corn and 15% corn silage with 0 to 25% dried distillers grains, 
or steam-flaked corn with 5% corn silage and 25% dried distillers grains, 
after which fecal samples were collected and tested for E. coli O157. 
Results showed that cattle fed with 25% dried distillers grains and 5% or 
15% silage had higher prevalence of E. coli O157 than cattle fed a diet 
without dried distillers grains.

The results indicate that there is a positive association between dried 
distillers grain and E. coli O157 in cattle, and the findings should have 
important ramifications for food safety,say the researchers.

Reference: M.E. Jacob, J.T. Fox, J.S. Drouillard, D.G. Renter, T.G. 
Nagaraja. 2008. Effects of dried distillers grain on fecal prevalence and 
growth of Escherichia coli O157 in batch culture fermentations from cattle. 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74. 1: 38-43.

Adapted from materials provided by American Society for Microbiology, via 
EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

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