The USDA announced today that it has awarded a research grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to help reduce the occurrence and public health risks from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) along the entire beef production pathway. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), is scheduled to award the $25 million grant to the UNL-lead research team today at the university in Lincoln.

“Shiga toxin-producing E. coli are a serious threat to our food supply and public health, causing more than 265,000 infections each year,” said Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting NIFA director. “As non-O157 STEC bacteria have emerged and evolved, so too must our regulatory policies to protect the public health and ensure the safety of our food supply. This research will help us to understand how these pathogens travel throughout the beef production process and how outbreaks occur, enabling us to find ways to prevent illness and improve the safety of our nation’s food supply.”