"Only One Deadly Strain of E. Coli Is Illegal"

"The food-safety world knows there are a half-dozen or more lethal forms of E. coli ending up in our meat or on our leafy greens that are so virulent they can send people to the hospital and even kill them.

But in the United States only one, E. coli O157:H7, is officially termed an adulterant, meaning any raw ground beef that tests positive for it cannot be sold for human consumption.

There's no requirement that companies test for the other lethal strains, and it's not illegal for them to be in the food.

And that, says a growing chorus of lawmakers, food-safety and consumer advocates, needs to change. But attempts by these legislators and interest groups to broaden the types of E. coli strains that are specifically subject to federal regulation so far haven't succeeded."

Elizabeth Weise reports for USA TODAY July 25, 2011.

Source: USA TODAY, 07/27/2011