Cull dairy cattle both on the farm and at slaughter from herds in the states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington were surveyed for Escherichia coli O157 by culturing fecal swab samples. A total of 205 cull cows from 19 dairy herds were sampled on the farm of origin; 7 (3.4%) tested positive for E. coli O157. A total of 103 cull cows from 15 dairy herds were sampled at slaughter; 4 (3.9%) were positive for E. coli O157. Eighty-nine cull cows were sampled both at the farm and at slaughter; 2 (2.2%) were positive in both locations, 3 (3.3%) only on the farm, and 2 (2.2%) only at the slaughter plant. Seven (7.9%) of the 89 cull cows tracked from farm to slaughter were positive in at least one location. This suggests a higher prevalence of E. coli O157 in cull dairy cattle than previously has been reported to occur in other ages and classes of cattle.

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