The Food Safety Consortium to Protect Beef, Pork, and Poultry from Contamination addresses potential threats to food safety during the production of the live animal, processing, distribution, and consumption. When necessary, this initiative develops sampling and testing strategies to rapidly identify contaminants and determine the distribution of the contaminant in the food supply. Additionally, program staff are working to establish intervention strategies to minimize the threat of contaminants and to assure a safe food supply. The program also is developing recovery strategies and training procedures for the pork industry in the event of a natural or intentional contamination event.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The Food Safety Consortium, a partnership of the University of Arkansas, Kansas State University and Iowa State University, has been working to improve the safety of meat in the United States. The efforts begin on the farm, helping livestock producers grow healthier animals with fewer food borne disease organisms. The research has resulted in practical guidelines for animal producers, as well as diagnostic tests to help the producer. At the processing level, Food Safety Consortium researchers were active in the development of steam pasteurization, which is widely used by large beef processors. In addition, Food Safety Consortium research has developed a process that can be used by the smallest animal processors to improve the safety of the animal carcasses. Food Safety Consortium researchers also provide information to the consumer by supporting one of the largest food safety web sites. The Food Safety Consortium will continue to improve the safety of American meat and poultry products, providing U.S. consumers with safer products and helping us to maintain our major role in the International market.
APPROACH: Assess the potential threats to beef, pork, or poultry during the production of the live animal, processing, distribution, and consumption. Develop sampling and testing strategies to rapidly identify the contaminant and to determine the distribution of the contaminant in the food supply. Determine intervention strategies to minimize the threat and assure a safe food supply. Develop communication strategies to rapidly and accurately convey essential information to agriculture agencies, producers, processors, law enforcement, and the general public. Develop recovery strategies for the beef, pork, or poultry industry in the event of a natural or intentional contamination event. Provide training to the beef, pork, or poultry industry as necessary.