An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Pre-harvest Critical Points in Feed Yards to Prevent Cross-Contamination of Pathogens onto Cattle and Other Environmental Areas

Investigators
Brashears, Mindy
Institutions
Texas Tech University
Start date
2007
End date
2009
Objective
  1. Determine training needs and gaps in knowledge for feed yard personnel through survey-based research in collaboration with the National Cattlemans Beef Association.
  2. Establish a field-based training site for pre-harvest food safety at the Texas Tech University Beef Cattle Center.
  3. Validate methods of dust control for reducing pathogen contamination of the hide by follow up surveys and microbial sampling selected feedyards for pathogen loads after implementation of controls.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Farm animals are considered the primary reservoir for many pathogens with cattle being major sources of E. coli O157 and Salmonella. In previous studies, we have determined that there are critical control points in feed yard environments that can impact the pathogen loads on/in an animal entering the harvest facility. A limitation is transferring this knowledge to the cattle industry and to determine if they effectively implement the interventions. In response to this need, we will develop the Pre-harvest Food Safety Demonstration Project at Texas Tech University to train feedlot personnel. We will work collaboratively with the National Cattlemans Beef Association in this effort. Feed Yard managers will be sent a survey to determine training needs and their interests in pre-harvest food safety. The responses will be compiled and used to determine the content of a workshop to be held at Texas Tech University for the feed yard managers. During the workshop, a select group of managers will be invited to participate in a validation project to verify that the controls are effective in reducing pathogen contamination. Microbial sampling in the feed yards that implement workshop principles and on-going survey research will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training as well as reasons for success and failure of intervention adoption. This project will allow us to make adjustments in recommendations to maintain the demonstration project for future training of not only feed yard managers, but also other groups who can utilize the information gained from this project.

APPROACH: We propose to develop the Pre-harvest Food Safety Demonstration Project at Texas Tech University to train feedlot personnel how to control pathogens in the cattle loadout area as a critical control point. Managers will be sent a survey to determine training needs and their interests in pre-harvest food safety. The responses will be compiled and used to determine the content of a workshop to be held at Texas Tech University. Those responding to the survey will be invited to participate. The workshop at Texas Tech University will train the feed yard managers how to control environmental contamination factors to reduce hide contamination prior to shipment to the harvest facility. During the workshop, a select group of feed yard managers will be invited to participate in a validation project to verify that the controls are effective in reducing pathogen contamination on the hides. Microbial sampling in the feed yards that implement workshop principles and on-going survey research will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the training as well as reasons for success and failure of intervention adoption. This project will validate our initial findings and allow us tomake adjustments in recommendations to maintain the Pre-harvest Food Safety Demonstration Project for future training of not only feed yard managers, but other groups (dairy farmers, fruit and vegetable growers and nutmeat producers)who can utilize the information gained from this project. Finally, the data we generate during this project will be used to develop on-line resources for cattle producers, regulators, scientists, and students.

PROGRESS: 2007/07 TO 2008/06
OUTPUTS: During the first year of this grant project, the researchers have completed the needs assessment research described in objective 1. A sample of 25 feed yard personnel were surveyed using a modified Delphi procedure conducted in an online environment. The results of this survey research have provided the researchers with the core knowledge and competency needs of this population.

IMPACT: 2007/07 TO 2008/06
The information from the Delphi study was then used to create the second instrument of knowledge, behavior and importance of educational items within the food safety paradigm. A sample of 50 food safety experts in academia and industry were surveyed using this instrument to determine critical and low-level needs by the feed yard personnel. In addition, the material was also used to identify low-level and successful programs. We are currently using this information to create workshop materials for delivery in the spring 2009.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
TEXW-2007-01857
Accession number
210422
Categories
Prevention and Control
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Escherichia coli
Salmonella