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Trichinella Proficiency Sample Program

Hill, Dolores
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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Pigs with access to the outdoors are at substantial risk of infection with the zoonotic parasite Trichinella spiralis. The historical problem of Trichinella infection in pigs is responsible for strict federal control of methods used to prepare ready-to eat pork products in the U.S., and for expensive carcass inspection requirements for U.S. pork destined for Europe. These regulations are still in effect in the Code of Federal Regulations and in the Directives of the European Union. Currently, U.S. pork cannot be exported to major markets without individual carcass testing for trichinae. While most countries provide specific training to technical personnel in the performance of Trichinella testing, the measures which are followed to assure that the test continues to be performed properly vary greatly. For quality assurance, the proficiency of a technician performing the digestion assay should be regularly assessed using one or more samples of ground meat containing a known number of Trichinella muscle larvae (proficiency samples). APDL will provide ongoing support to the AMS Export Certification Program for pork and horsemeat by providing a verified proficiency sample program for certified laboratory analysts to allow continuous quality control of approved testing laboratories, and continued export of U.S. pork to international markets.
Funding Source
Agricultural Research Service
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Meat, Poultry, Game