Authors: Joshua Cohan
(WASHINGTON) -- Food inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will start testing ground beef for six additional strains of the dangerous bacteria E. coli beginning on Monday. The new, quicker testing is designed to detect contaminated meat faster -- before it enters the food supply.
"These strains of E. coli are an emerging threat to human health and the steps we are taking today are entirely focused on preventing Americans from suffering foodborne illnesses," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "We cannot ignore the evidence that these pathogens are a threat in our nation's food supply."
Samples testing positive for a dangerous strain of E. coli will be taken out of stores and could be subject to a recall.
There are currently more than 700 different strains of the bacteria. Food scientists say most types are harmless, but some can attack your intestines and cause serious problems.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio