A new expert group to drive forward a co-ordinated approach in Scotland to protecting the public from E. coli 0157 was announced today.The Task Force, to be led jointly by the Food Standards Agency Scotland and the Scottish Executive Health Department, will be responsible for implementing and developing a co-ordinated strategy for minimising the risk of infection and ensuring the public are aware of the best hygiene precautions to take. Representatives from the Agency in Scotland, the Scottish Executive, consumer groups, the food and farming industries, and other relevant bodies will take part in the initiative.New research published today at a conference in Edinburgh on E. coli O157 has reinforced the need to raise public awareness and tackle this organism on an integrated basis. It shows that while contaminated food continues to pose a high risk of E. coli infection, human contact with livestock and their faeces plays a much greater part than previously thought.Announcing the Task Force, the Agency's Director in Scotland, Dr George Paterson, said: