A research model designed to evaluate the survival of important viral pathogens of livestock in animal feed ingredients imported into the U.S. is providing further evidence that contaminated feed ingredients may indeed represent a risk.
Infectious agents, or pathogens, are a threat to livestock and poultry health and even human health in some zoonotic situations. Pathogens that cause diseases also have significant economic implications, as well as negative effects on animal welfare.
Providing safe, wholesome food is a pork producer's most important responsibility. Ensuring food safety is a complex undertaking that requires awareness of the role everyone plays in the food chain. On the farm, many factors can affect the safety of pork, which is why today's farms use a wide variety of technology and techniques to minimize food safety threats. These modern practices have vastly improved today's pork in terms of safety and quality, but improvements can always be made.
Why is Salmonella so difficult to control? Perhaps there are two characteristics that make Salmonella such a challenge: persistence and adaptability. Salmonella can persist from months to years in a wide range of materials. As a result, Salmonella may be found nearly anywhere one wants to look.
Times are changing and the days of using antibiotics as the sole health management strategy are over. Now more than ever, a team approach is needed for the best animal health management. Many producers are under-utilizing their veterinarians and not fully capturing the value they can provide. Routinely working with your veterinarian to identify root causes of reoccurring health challenges and develop disease prevention strategies will pay dividends.
The production of meat, milk and eggs for human consumption is coming under increased pressure as the global human population continues to increase. Sporadic, acute disease outbreaks, caused by common pathogens or the introduction of new pathogens, increase food product costs and are risks to global nutrition.
What a difference a few years makes! Prior to the porcine diarrhea virus (PEDV) epidemic in 2013-2014 across North America, no one seriously considered feed as a potential vehicle for pathogen transmission. However, there is now a growing body of scientific evidence strongly suggesting that feed and feed ingredients may be risk factors for the spread of PEDV at both the domestic and the global levels.
Consumer preference has changed with regards to the chicken they are purchasing. Buying a whole chicken at the grocery store to take home and prepare is not as common as it used to be and, in fact, only represents about ten percent of the chicken products U.S. consumers are putting in their shopping cards. This is important information for the U.S. chicken industry as well as the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), as these two groups share a common goal, which is to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella and Campylobacter on chicken products. Knowing what our consumers are purchasing allows both the industry and FSIS to focus efforts on those products.
What is the stewardship of antibiotics programs on your farm? Google "stewardship of antibiotics" and you might be surprised to find most of the web-based information is related to human health care. Effective September 2014, Presidential Executive Order 13676 directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (PACCARB), in consultation with the secretaries of Defense and Agriculture, on methods to combat antimicrobial resistant bacteria.