Check the water: E. coli O157 in UK cattle

A longitudinal study in England and Wales of two dairy, five beef-fattener and three beef-suckler herds was carried out to identify risk factors for young cattle excreting verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC O157).


A total of 1,383 cattle, selected into cohorts at 0–24 months were sampled between March 2000 and February 2001. Mixed-effects logistic regression was employed to identify significant associations between VTEC O157 isolation from rectal faecal samples and explanatory factors (P < 0·001 unless shown).

The results revealed a positive association with feeding root crops and a negative association with animals fed silage, milk (P = 0·001) or grain (P = 0·027). Cattle in suckler herds (P = 0·001) and those changing group between sampling visits were identified as negatively associated with VTEC O157 presence. The recovery of VTEC O157 varied throughout the year. However, the winter period from December to February was a risk factor in the multivariable analysis.

Cattle in pens were 4·7 times more likely to shed VTEC O157 than those group-housed or at pasture. VTEC O157 detected in pooled environmental faecal pats and biofilm of the water supply within a group’s enclosure were positively associated with an animal’s VTEC O157 status in the multivariable logistic regression, as was detection of VTEC O157 in the pooled faecal pats at the previous visit.

A longitudinal study of risk factors for shedding of VTEC O157 by young cattle in herds with known E. coli O157 carriage

Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 144 / Issue 09 / July 2016, pp 1818-1829Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016  DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 01 February 2016

P. Smith, W. J. Pollitt And G. A. Paiba

Roast chicken for two: cooking and sex and safety

I make a decent roast chicken.

Michael Ruhlman has a recipe, roast chicken for two (when the kids are gone) that’s making the rounds on the Intertubes.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 425?F or, if you have ventilation, 450?F, and use convection heat if it’s available.

Step 2: Wash and pat dry a 3- to 4-pound chicken. Truss it if you know how, or stuff 2 lemon halves in its cavity. Season it aggressively with kosher or sea salt (it should have a nice crust of salt). Put it in a skillet and slide it into the hot oven.

Step 3: Have sex with your partner. (This can require planning, occasionally some conniving. But as cooks tend to be resourceful and seductive by nature, most find that it’s not the most difficult part of the recipe.)

Step 4: Remove the chicken from the oven after it’s cooked for 1 hour, allow it to rest for 15 minutes, and serve.

Cooking, like sex, is good for your marriage.

Once the kids are regularly gone during the day, carve out two hours (more if you can swing it) to rendezvous at home. The home itself will be strangely, wonderfully peaceful. Neither you nor your partner will be exhausted; instead, you’ll still be fairly fresh and energetic—it’s time for lunch, after all.

I prefer lime over lemon, and stuff the bird with about 30 cloves of garlic and a generous helping of rosemary. Use a meat thermometer for safety (at least 165F).

What should have been the title for this blog post?