This paper addresses food safety in beef cattle production, with particular emphasis on factors that affect the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in beef cattle and on control methods that have been investigated. Product recalls and foodborne diseases due to this organism continue to occur even though control measures have been under investigation for over 20 years. Most meatborne outbreaks are due to improper food handling practices and consumption of undercooked meat. However, the majority of pathogenic bacteria that can spread at slaughter by cross-contamination can be traced back to the farm rather than originating from the slaughter plant. This would ideally require the adoption of rigorous on-farm intervention strategies to mitigate risks at the farm level. On-farm strategies to control and reduce E. coli O157:H7 at the farm level will reduce the risk of carcass contamination at slaughter and processing facilities although they will not eliminate E. coli O157:H7. The most successful strategy for reducing the risk of contamination of beef and beef products will involve the implementation of both pre- and post-harvest measures.