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Enhancement of the Safety of Pork Products

Investigators
Dickson, James
Institutions
Iowa State University
Start date
2001
End date
2004
Objective
  1. To assess the hazards of human exposure to selected viruses; bacteria, including antimicrobial drug resistant bacteria; and parasites through pork.
  2. To evaluate decontamination processes, including heat shock and chemical compounds, for pork.
  3. To develop and evaluate rapid techniques for microorganisms in pork.
  4. To asses exposure risks to pathogenic organisms in pork and to examine costs for control.
  5. To assess the efficiency and feasibility of irradiation processing of pork.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Microbial contamination of animal carcasses is a result of the necessary procedures required to process live animals into retail meat. The contamination can be minimized by good manufacturing processes, but the total elimination of foodborne pathogenic microorganisms is difficult, if not impossible. The purpose of this grant is to develop methods to reduce both the levels and the incidence of bacteria of public health significance in pork products, from the live animal to the consumer.

APPROACH: Serological and bacteriological studies are used on live swine. Selected treatments are made on experimentally contaminated pork. Selective microbiological media, enzyme analyses and toxin assays are used in detecting pathogenic organisms. Cost determinations for pathogen reduction are performed. Chromatographic assays for sulfonamides and other residues are used on pork; cost determinations for residue reductions are established.

PROGRESS: 2001/07 TO 2004/06
The Iowa State University component of the Food Safety Consortium funded eight research projects in 2002-2003. Research scientists representing several academic departments at the University, as well as USDA-ARS and private industry, were involved. The basis for research has been the enhancement of the safety of pork and pork products. Swine production: Dr. Ron Griffith and collaborators from both Iowa State University and the USDA National Animal Disease Laboratories evaluated salmonellae in live pigs during holding and lairage. Salmonella was found in the intestine and ileocecal lymph nodes of market age swine within 15 minutes and 30 minutes, respectively, of exposure to a contaminated pen floor. Tonsils of pigs are almost immediately culture positive, but it does not appear that the tonsil serves as a peracute route for salmonella to enter pig tissues. Other research has focused on the antibiotic sensitivity of salmonellae isolates from swine. A change from using Southern blots to PCR for detection of Salmonella Genomic Island 1 has been successful and completion of the isolate testing with PCR will be completed with in several weeks. Dr. Harris' laboratory focused on alternatives to antibiotics in swine production. Research continued on the evaluation of probiotics, vaccines and bacteriophage. Preliminary results indicated bacteriophage to be superior to probiotics while results from the vaccine trials is pending analysis. In addition, Dr. Phillips has taken advantage of a research initiation grant from the Consortium to evaluate a new pathogenicity model for food borne pathogens. The nematode C. elegans has been used as a model system to determine whether or not selected food borne pathogens are able to reduce viability of this eukaryotic host. The Food Safety Consortium funded a project to determine the potential of live pigs to become reservoirs for West Nile Virus. Initial observations in weanling pigs show that they do develop a significant viremia when infected with West Nile virus. This suggests that there may be a public health threat to those who slaughter pigs or handle or consume undercooked pork. Methodology: Dr. Irene Wesley evaluated rapid methods for the detection of Listeria in turkey carcass rinses and pork carcass swabs. Irradiation: Dr. Dong Ahn identified and characterized the color components in irradiated raw pork Consumer Information: The Consortium continues to help fund the Food Safety web page. This year the web page added a HACCP demonstration site for small meat processors at (http://www.iowahaccp.iastate.edu/demos/). An average 30 high school teachers per month signing up for and using the web-based food safety lessons, and an on-line presentation in PPT on biotechnology issues (http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/ biotech/slideshow/index.htm) was added. We have continued to see increases in the amount of usage of the food safety site with 1,175,397 page views during 382,000 visits during the grant year, which are increases from last year. Three revised food safety web sites will be re-launched this year including three food safety education modules that have been translated into Spanish.

IMPACT: 2001/07 TO 2004/06
The Food Safety Consortium consists of researchers from the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Iowa State University and Kansas State University. The FSC was established by Congress in 1988 through a special Cooperative State Research grant to conduct extensive investigation into all areas of poultry, beef and pork meat production, from the farm to the consumer's table. The purpose of the Consortium, as defined by Congress, is fourfold: 1. To develop technology for rapid identification of infectious agents and toxins; 2. To develop a statistical framework necessary to evaluate the potential health risks; 3. To determine the most effective intervention points to control microbiological or chemical hazards; 4. To develop risk monitoring techniques to detect potential hazards in the distribution chain.

PROGRESS: 2003/01/01 TO 2003/12/31
The Iowa State University component of the Food Safety Consortium funded six research projects in 2000-2001. Research scientists representing several academic departments at the University, as well as USDA-ARS and private industry, were involved. The primary basis for research under this research program has been pork and pork products. The research projects encompassed many aspects of food safety as it is currently viewed, from the farm to the consumer. Swine production: Dr. McKean and collaborators from USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, studied the prevalence of food-borne pathogenic organisms in Swine and Pork. Field-based research by an ISU/NADC group continues to elucidate the effects of transport and lairage of market weight swine and cull sows on the Salmonella enterica prevalence at harvest under commercial conditions. Dr. Harris laboratory studied the effects of Lactobacilli as immunomodulators in swine. Some lactobacilli, when added to swine feed, apparently produce a localized immune response to salmonellae in the intestinal tract. Dr. Harris also received an equipment grant to expand his laboratory capacity to evaluate the salmonellae seroprevalence of salmonellae in swine herds. Dr. Harris also served as President of the International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS), and his term was capped by the bi-annual meeting of IPVS, held in Ames, IA in June 2002. Approximately 2000 scientists attended, with several sessions being devoted to the safety of pork products. Methodology: Dr. Irene Wesley evaluated rapid methods for the detection of Listeria in turkey carcass rinses and pork carcass swabs. Much of her focus was on the use of the 5 Nuclease Fluorogenic PCR (TaqMan) Assay. Irradiation: Dr. Dong Ahn identified and characterized the color components in irradiated raw pork Consumer Information: The Consortium continues to help fund the Food Safety web page designed and maintained under the direction of Dr. Jim Huss. This year the web page added a HACCP demonstration site for small meat processors at (http://www.iowahaccp.iastate.edu/demos/). An average 30 high school teachers per month signing up for and using the web-based food safety lessons, and an on-line presentation in PPT on biotechnology issues (http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/ biotech/slideshow/index.htm) was added. An average 100 requests per month for downloading the site information on irradiation, and 2,744,880 hits (467,000 page views) of information provided on the companion Food Safety and Quality web-site.

IMPACT: 2003/01/01 TO 2003/12/31
The Food Safety Consortium consists of researchers from the University of Arkansas, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Iowa State University and Kansas State University. The FSC was established by Congress in 1988 through a special Cooperative State Research grant to conduct extensive investigation into all areas of poultry, beef and pork meat production, from the farm to the consumer's table. The purpose of the Consortium, as defined by Congress, is fourfold: 1. To develop technology for rapid identification of infectious agents and toxins; 2. To develop a statistical framework necessary to evaluate the potential health risks; 3. To determine the most effective intervention points to control microbiological or chemical hazards; 4. To develop risk monitoring techniques to detect potential hazards in the distribution chain.

PROGRESS: 2002/01/01 TO 2002/12/31
The Iowa State University component of the Food Safety Consortium funded six research projects. Research scientists representing several academic departments at the University, as well as USDA-ARS and private industry, were involved. The primary basis for research under this research program has been pork and pork products. The research projects encompassed many aspects of food safety as it is currently viewed, from the farm to the consumer. Swine production: Dr. McKean and collaborators from USDA-ARS, National Animal Disease Center, studied the prevalence of food-borne pathogenic organisms in Swine and Pork. Field-based research by an ISU/NADC group continues to elucidate the effects of transport and lairage of market weight swine and cull sows on the Salmonella enterica prevalence at harvest under commercial conditions. Dr. Harris' laboratory studied the effects of Lactobacilli as immunomodulators in swine. Some lactobacilli, when added to swine feed, apparently produce a localized immune response to salmonellae in the intestinal tract. Dr. Harris also received an equipment grant to expand his laboratory capacity to evaluate the salmonellae seroprevalence of salmonellae in swine herds. Dr. Harris also served as President of the International Pig Veterinary Society (IPVS), and his term was capped by the bi-annual meeting of IPVS, held in Ames, IA in June 2002. Approximately 2000 scientists attended, with several sessions being devoted to the safety of pork products. Methodology: Dr. Irene Wesley evaluated rapid methods for the detection of Listeria in turkey carcass rinses and pork carcass swabs. Much of her focus was on the use of the 5' Nuclease Fluorogenic PCR (TaqMan) Assay. Irradiation: Dr. Dong Ahn identified and characterized the color components in irradiated raw pork. Consumer Information: The Consortium continues to help fund the Food Safety web page designed and maintained under the direction of Dr. Jim Huss. This year the web page added a HACCP demonstration site for small meat processors at (http://www.iowahaccp.iastate.edu/demos/). An average 30 high school teachers per month signing up for and using the web-based food safety lessons, and an on-line presentation in PPT on biotechnology issues (http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/ biotech/slideshow/index.htm) was added. An average 100 requests per month for downloading the site information on irradiation, and 2,744,880 hits (467,000 page views) of information provided on the companion Food Safety and Quality web-site.

IMPACT: 2002/01/01 TO 2002/12/31
While microbiological contamination of pork and pork products is undesirable, it is also unavoidable. The purpose of this grant is to develop methods to minimize microbial hazards to the public from pork products.

PROGRESS: 2001/01/01 TO 2001/12/31
The Iowa State University component of the Food Safety Consortium funded seven research projects in 2000-2001. Research scientists representing several academic departments at the University, as well as USDA-ARS and private industry, were involved. The primary basis for research under this research program has been pork and pork products. The research projects encompassed many aspects of food safety as it is currently viewed, from the farm to the consumer. As this project was just initiated in July 2001, no preliminary data are available.

IMPACT: 2001/01/01 TO 2001/12/31
This research encompasses food safety issues from animal production through consumption. It is anticipated that this research will make pork in the United States safer for human consumption, and may in fact make it more competitive in the global market. Assuring the safety of food in international commerce is becoming increasingly important, and it is anticipated that documentation of food safety efforts may continue to insure a prominent place in the market for US pork.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
IOW06557
Accession number
188294
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Parasites
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game