News 1471 views last update:May 22, 2007

USDA proposes a voluntary trichinae certification program

The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposes to establish a voluntary trichinae certification program for US pork.

Trichinella spiralis is rare in the US and currently not required as part of a testing program. The European Union and other overseas markets, however, require testing for all imports of fresh pork and fresh pork products.

The proposed voluntary certification program would ensure that American producers standardise their protocols and offer overseas markets a USDA certification as to the Trichinella spiralis protections in place at US farms without having to test every animal and every product.

Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic roundworm found in many warm-blooded carnivores and omnivores, including swine.  Transmission from one host to another only occurs by the ingestion of infected muscle tissue.  The primary vector for Trichinella spiralis in swine is the consumption of raw meat waste and, in some cases, the consumption of rodents or other animals.

Under the proposed program, APHIS would certify pork production sites that follow good production practices to reduce, eliminate or avoid the risk of exposure of animals to Trichinella spiralis.  Good production practices include feed integrity (such as source of feed and feed storage) and facility construction and condition as it pertains to biosecurity.

Comments on this proposed rule will be accepted before July 17.

View the full press release from the APHIS

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