This is a repost of an article that appeared in the North American Meat Association's newsletter Lean Trimmings. I think livestock producers and consumers will find the site useful and that's why I'm reposting it here.
Today, NAMA is pleased to announce a new website for meat industry regulatory guidance at www.meatexperts.com. The new NAMA Meat Experts is a site for meat company managers and others to get answers to meat regulation related questions. The site invites visitor participation via ‘Ask the Experts’ inquiries and provides a forum for ongoing discussion on each inquiry. The goal is to build a knowledgebase about meat inspection, food safety and industry regulatory oversight based on incoming questions and the staff’s expertise.
An app for iPhone and Android with which visitors will be able to access the knowledgebase at NAMA Meat Experts, and also to send in new inquiries directly from their smart phones, will be released later this spring.
The Council of Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) recently released a commentary paper on the direct relationship between animal health and food safety outcomes. It is an informative read for livestock producers and consumers. The following is from the paper's introduction and objectives:
"Many groups in society, including politicians, activists, scientists, and stakeholders, are advocating significant changes to livestock production practices. These changes include modification of stocking densities, limitations on antimicrobial use, and requirements for outdoor "experiences." Such changes may affect animal health, productivity, and food quality. Simultaneously, many consumers are demanding virtually risk-free food at least cost, and they believe that food safety should be addressed on-farm as well as during processing. It is critical that decision makers understand the relationship between animal health and food safety, which is a complex association requiring careful evaluation of many variables.
The objectives of this paper are to (1) discuss the quantifiable impact animal health has on public health risk due to foodborne illness from meat, milk, eggs, and poultry; (2) identify the factors that impact animal health; and (3) highlight specific research needs. This paper will focus on direct and indirect impacts that animal health may have on public health."
The entire paper, in pdf format, is available for free at:
Make sure you select Online/Dowloadable in the drop-down to the right of the page on the link above.
For all cattle producers, it's especially important to pass this on to your friends, customers, and families not in the business. The following came via Dr. Jim Oltjen, UCD and from Janel Fisher, California Beef Council:
"In an update issued late yesterday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced additional findings in its ongoing epidemiological investigation into the case of BSE detected earlier this week in central California.
The animal in question was 10 years and 7 months old and came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, California. The animal was humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent. The animal’s carcass will be destroyed. The cow was tested as part of targeted BSE surveillance at rendering facilities. The USDA is continuing its epidemiological investigation and will provide additional information as it is available. The California Beef Council (CBC) will provide updates to producers as we receive them from the USDA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
It is important to reiterate that this animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, did not enter food supply channels, and at no time presented any risk to human health."
In addition, the UCD School of Vet Med has provided the following links with the latest information and encourages you to use these references to answer questions. The Vet Med site will be updated regularly.
FDA statement on safety of milk: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm301850.htm
If you have questions about UC’s role in the BSE investigation, please contact Lynn Narlesky in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Office of the Dean, (530) 752-5257, firstname.lastname@example.org.