Awesome links everyone. Thank you.
Here's a Salon article from December (you'll need to click past a sponsor ad) by Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma.
After the spinach e.coli scare, he is speculating about the causes and risks of enhanced strains of e.coli and superbugs caused by factory farming and the centralization of food supply.
[quote]In beef-processing plants, there are up to 400 head an hour, which is just -- it's impossible to keep manure off the carcasses. In chicken too, although it's a much more automated system, the very speed of this, when you're eviscerating these animals mechanically, a certain number of times you're going to break the intestines. There's going to be some mishap on the line and the manure, which I assume is the reservoir for, and again I don't know, for salmonella and campylobacter, is going to get in the bath of the water in which you've got your thousands of carcasses chilling, and it's going to spread.