U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Pathogens affecting beef

James E. Wells, Elaine D. Berry
Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Limitied 2016 v.1 no. pp. -
adulterated products, animal husbandry, animal pathogens, beef, direct contact, economic incentives, food pathogens, food processing, food sanitation, foodborne illness, humans, zoonoses
Mankind has long recognized that animals harbor disease. Zoonotic pathogens are agents from animals that cause disease in humans. The pathogens may be broad spectrum and cause disease in animals and humans, or the animal may simply be an asymptomatic reservoir for a human pathogen. The human disease can occur as a result of direct contact between the animal and human or transmitted through a vector from the animal to the human. Proper handling and sanitation of food during production and processing minimizes adulteration and improves food safety by minimizing food as a vector for foodborne pathogens. Historically, good management practices and animal husbandry have improved the safety of the beef supply, but the greatest benefit has occurred when the zoonotic pathogen also causes disease in the host animal and there is a strong economic incentive to minimize animal illnesses.