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SAFEPORK 2011: The Netherlands

The most southern provincial capital of Maastricht in the Netherlands is hosting the 9th SafePork conference, an international conference on the epidemiology and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards in pigs and pork. Pig Progress brings you a report covering the days of the event.

Pork is the most important meat for many consumers in the western world. For example from the 86 kg of meat eaten by Dutch consumers, 42 kg are pork.
 
One of the main challenges in producing pork is food safety. Although pork has never been safer than it is today, the risk consumers are willing to take is also much lower than in the past.
 
As a consequence, methods to further increase food safety and communicating safe production systems in a transparent way to consumers are vital.
 
SafePork tries to contribute to this and over a three day period covers many items such as meat inspection, antimicrobial resistance, salmonella control, risk assessment and detection methods.
PigProgress is a communication partner of SafePork 2011 and the photo report gives an overview of the happening.

Photo

  • More than 200 delegates came to Maastricht, the most southern provincial capital in The Netherlands with medieval roots, to the venue of ....

    More than 200 delegates came to Maastricht, the most southern provincial capital in The Netherlands with medieval roots, to the venue of ....

  • ...La Bonbonnière, a former theatre and now a Grand Theatre Café. They came for the 9th International Conference on the Epidemiology and Control of biological, chemical and physical hazards in pigs and pork, or in short...

    ...La Bonbonnière, a former theatre and now a Grand Theatre Café. They came for the 9th International Conference on the Epidemiology and Control of biological, chemical and physical hazards in pigs and pork, or in short...

  • Member of the organising committee Peter van der Wolf of the Dutch Animal Health Service, welcomed the delegates and emphasised the importance of food safety, which nowadays in the western world is often taken for granted. He also said that risk communication in the pork sector is still an underdeveloped item where a proactive approach towards food safety is required.

    Member of the organising committee Peter van der Wolf of the Dutch Animal Health Service, welcomed the delegates and emphasised the importance of food safety, which nowadays in the western world is often taken for granted. He also said that risk communication in the pork sector is still an underdeveloped item where a proactive approach towards food safety is required.

  • Also on the organising committee is Arjan Stegeman of the University of Utrecht who introduced the program to the audience. He emphasised that modern pig production should not be based on the use of huge amounts of antimicrobials and that these days will give more insight into more responsible use of antibiotics.

    Also on the organising committee is Arjan Stegeman of the University of Utrecht who introduced the program to the audience. He emphasised that modern pig production should not be based on the use of huge amounts of antimicrobials and that these days will give more insight into more responsible use of antibiotics.

  • Day 1: Key note speaker,Sava Buncic,  University of Novi Sad prof, & member of the EFSA working group on Meat Inspection. Buncic discussed  modernisation of meat inspection in slaughterhouses. The current system was developed more than 100 years ago and has hardly changed over the century, while current handling procedures as Incision and Palpation are one of the main cross contamination causes.

    Day 1: Key note speaker,Sava Buncic, University of Novi Sad prof, & member of the EFSA working group on Meat Inspection. Buncic discussed modernisation of meat inspection in slaughterhouses. The current system was developed more than 100 years ago and has hardly changed over the century, while current handling procedures as Incision and Palpation are one of the main cross contamination causes.

  • Marianne Sandberg (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) presented a study on the evaluation of carcass-weight, meat-percentage or identity of pig-producer in future risk-based meat inspection. In the study thousands of carcasses were evaluated and in terms of quality the influence of the pig producer was most significant.

    Marianne Sandberg (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) presented a study on the evaluation of carcass-weight, meat-percentage or identity of pig-producer in future risk-based meat inspection. In the study thousands of carcasses were evaluated and in terms of quality the influence of the pig producer was most significant.

  • Lis Alban (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) elaborated on the state of art of meat inspection of pigs in the EU. Currently only a few countries have introduced modified meat inspection in pigs. The limitation is caused by the requirement that the pig herds should be declared as originating from integrated production systems. Safety hazards like Salmonella are not dealt with.

    Lis Alban (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) elaborated on the state of art of meat inspection of pigs in the EU. Currently only a few countries have introduced modified meat inspection in pigs. The limitation is caused by the requirement that the pig herds should be declared as originating from integrated production systems. Safety hazards like Salmonella are not dealt with.

  • Diana Meemken, University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover discussed how animal oriented welfare criteria were implemented in German meat inspection systems. These criteria consist of a combination of housing and stockman ship qualities. The ante- & post-mortem data can be documented at the slaughterhouse for creating a benchmark on animal welfare.

    Diana Meemken, University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover discussed how animal oriented welfare criteria were implemented in German meat inspection systems. These criteria consist of a combination of housing and stockman ship qualities. The ante- & post-mortem data can be documented at the slaughterhouse for creating a benchmark on animal welfare.

  • Derk Oorburg of Vion Food Group explained the audience that Dutch pork slaughterhouses were the first to introduce a risk-based meat inspection. He said such a system improves food safety. A hands-off system adds more to the inspection system due to the addition of farm data of the herd when arriving at the slaughterhouse. Food safety hazards are controlled in a targeted approach.

    Derk Oorburg of Vion Food Group explained the audience that Dutch pork slaughterhouses were the first to introduce a risk-based meat inspection. He said such a system improves food safety. A hands-off system adds more to the inspection system due to the addition of farm data of the herd when arriving at the slaughterhouse. Food safety hazards are controlled in a targeted approach.

  • Lotte de Ridder of Ghent University in Belgium did a transmission study of Salmonella in pigs. In a survey among salmonella positive pigs it became clear that two-thirds of the pigs are infected with Salmonella typhimurium. In a trial it was concluded that vaccination against salmonella and feed supplemented with coated calcium-butyrate limit S. typhimurium transmission in pigs.

    Lotte de Ridder of Ghent University in Belgium did a transmission study of Salmonella in pigs. In a survey among salmonella positive pigs it became clear that two-thirds of the pigs are infected with Salmonella typhimurium. In a trial it was concluded that vaccination against salmonella and feed supplemented with coated calcium-butyrate limit S. typhimurium transmission in pigs.

  • Andy Hill of Veterinary Laboratories Agency in the UK talked about a farm transmission model for salmonella in pigs. He said that breeding herd prevalence of salmonella is the most important source of contamination into pork. Other routes of contamination, such as feed, only become prevalent when sow prevalence is very low.

    Andy Hill of Veterinary Laboratories Agency in the UK talked about a farm transmission model for salmonella in pigs. He said that breeding herd prevalence of salmonella is the most important source of contamination into pork. Other routes of contamination, such as feed, only become prevalent when sow prevalence is very low.

  • Margit Andreasen of the Danish Agricultural & Food Council, discussed the 'yellow card' system, whereby a farmer goes into a special surveillance program when his farm scores above the benchmark level with further consequences if there is no improvement or a fall-back. The aim is to reduce antibiotic use on the farm.

    Margit Andreasen of the Danish Agricultural & Food Council, discussed the 'yellow card' system, whereby a farmer goes into a special surveillance program when his farm scores above the benchmark level with further consequences if there is no improvement or a fall-back. The aim is to reduce antibiotic use on the farm.

  • The delegates are absorbing a load of information and not all topics are relevant to everybody, so...

    The delegates are absorbing a load of information and not all topics are relevant to everybody, so...

  • ...one can also study the impressive ceiling of the theatre-conference room at the end of Day 1.

    ...one can also study the impressive ceiling of the theatre-conference room at the end of Day 1.

  • Peter van der Wolf also mentioned that of every meal consumed during SafePork 20 eurocents is donated to Extra Ordinary Ones, an Dutch retail based organisation that helps children in underdeveloped countries to at least consume one decent meal per day.

    Peter van der Wolf also mentioned that of every meal consumed during SafePork 20 eurocents is donated to Extra Ordinary Ones, an Dutch retail based organisation that helps children in underdeveloped countries to at least consume one decent meal per day.

  • Also focus on specific diseases need to change, since many countries are free of diseases still monitored in abattoirs. Buncic said that public health is a priority in meat inspection and animal health and welfare are important, but secondary. The chilled carcass is the main issue for meat inspection and focus should be on priority hazards (most relevant in EU, food borne diseases).

    Also focus on specific diseases need to change, since many countries are free of diseases still monitored in abattoirs. Buncic said that public health is a priority in meat inspection and animal health and welfare are important, but secondary. The chilled carcass is the main issue for meat inspection and focus should be on priority hazards (most relevant in EU, food borne diseases).

  • The second day of SafePork was kicked off by coffee and tea, followed by a very interesting keynote lecture by Dutch scientist Dr Dik Mevius, who zoomed in onto the theme of antibiotic resistance – and gave a good overview of the themes involved.

    The second day of SafePork was kicked off by coffee and tea, followed by a very interesting keynote lecture by Dutch scientist Dr Dik Mevius, who zoomed in onto the theme of antibiotic resistance – and gave a good overview of the themes involved.

  • Mevius said that the Dutch agricultural industry had not been ready for reducing preventive antibiotics usage as it has led into more curative usage. He also touched on Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) producing organisms – not common but also not impossible in pigs.

    Mevius said that the Dutch agricultural industry had not been ready for reducing preventive antibiotics usage as it has led into more curative usage. He also touched on Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL) producing organisms – not common but also not impossible in pigs.

  • Dr W. Gebreyes, Ohio State, zoomed in onto the theme of MRSA prevalence in US pig herds – a topic which unlike in Canada hasn't received much attention in the States.

    Dr W. Gebreyes, Ohio State, zoomed in onto the theme of MRSA prevalence in US pig herds – a topic which unlike in Canada hasn't received much attention in the States.

  • Then, researcher M. Bos, University of Utrecht, raised an interesting question – since pig producers are in greater risk of carrying MRSA, what about slaughterhouse workers, since they are in high contact with pig carcasses? She concluded that pig slaughterhouse workers at low occupational risk of becoming carriers.

    Then, researcher M. Bos, University of Utrecht, raised an interesting question – since pig producers are in greater risk of carrying MRSA, what about slaughterhouse workers, since they are in high contact with pig carcasses? She concluded that pig slaughterhouse workers at low occupational risk of becoming carriers.

  • In the Salmonella sessions, Hector Arguello, University of León, Spain, zoomed in on the theme of Salmonella prevalence in various pig slaughterplants throughout Spain. When did they occur and where?

    In the Salmonella sessions, Hector Arguello, University of León, Spain, zoomed in on the theme of Salmonella prevalence in various pig slaughterplants throughout Spain. When did they occur and where?

  • Giusi Amore, European Food Safety Authority, presented prevalence numbers of Salmonella in pig breeding and production sites in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. In particular, Spain and Netherlands proved to have a strong prevalence.

    Giusi Amore, European Food Safety Authority, presented prevalence numbers of Salmonella in pig breeding and production sites in the European Union, Norway and Switzerland. In particular, Spain and Netherlands proved to have a strong prevalence.

  • Prof Thomas Blaha, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hanover, Germany, was invited to give a keynote lecture about the theme of alternatives to antimicrobial use. He stated that not only pig veterinarians ought to be told that the use of antibiotics should come down – so should the pig producers. His plea was for a revamp of the approach towards the antimicrobial issue.

    Prof Thomas Blaha, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hanover, Germany, was invited to give a keynote lecture about the theme of alternatives to antimicrobial use. He stated that not only pig veterinarians ought to be told that the use of antibiotics should come down – so should the pig producers. His plea was for a revamp of the approach towards the antimicrobial issue.

  • Victor Geurts, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, the Netherlands, explained how to use monitoring programme ResPig for reduction of antibiotics in the pig industry.

    Victor Geurts, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, the Netherlands, explained how to use monitoring programme ResPig for reduction of antibiotics in the pig industry.

  • Maria Laanen, Ghent University, Belgium wondered whether there is a correlation between a better biosecurity and reduction of antimicrobial usage? Carefully she concluded that 'a trend of decreased antimicrobial use is suggested with increased biosecurity'.

    Maria Laanen, Ghent University, Belgium wondered whether there is a correlation between a better biosecurity and reduction of antimicrobial usage? Carefully she concluded that 'a trend of decreased antimicrobial use is suggested with increased biosecurity'.

  • A remarkable paper was presented by researcher Monique Mul, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands as she did research into the question whether garlic would work as an antibacterial feed additive in pigs. She said she had observed no effect on prevention of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in pigs, but it seems it had an effect on severity and duration of the disease.

    A remarkable paper was presented by researcher Monique Mul, Wageningen UR, the Netherlands as she did research into the question whether garlic would work as an antibacterial feed additive in pigs. She said she had observed no effect on prevention of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in pigs, but it seems it had an effect on severity and duration of the disease.

  • One of the last presentations of the day was given by L. Doble, University of Edinburgh, UK, who is doing continuous research to the prevalence of Taenia solium in pork production in Kenya, Africa - and how to reduce this pathogen's presence in meat.

    One of the last presentations of the day was given by L. Doble, University of Edinburgh, UK, who is doing continuous research to the prevalence of Taenia solium in pork production in Kenya, Africa - and how to reduce this pathogen's presence in meat.

  • The third day's first speaker was Arie Havelaar, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands. He zoomed in on the public health burden of exposure to pathogens in pork. Campylobacter and T.gondii are among the most prevalent - but Lysteria is causing the worst problems.

    The third day's first speaker was Arie Havelaar, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands. He zoomed in on the public health burden of exposure to pathogens in pork. Campylobacter and T.gondii are among the most prevalent - but Lysteria is causing the worst problems.

  • Time for a different sound. Andy Hill, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK, presented a risk assessment model - where will Salmonella transmission occur? Preliminary results suggest that abattoir cross-contamination is a red herring as it does cause Salmonella prevalence but not enough for human consumption.

    Time for a different sound. Andy Hill, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK, presented a risk assessment model - where will Salmonella transmission occur? Preliminary results suggest that abattoir cross-contamination is a red herring as it does cause Salmonella prevalence but not enough for human consumption.

  • Once more, Marianne Sandberg (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) presented a research, this time asking whether organic and free-range production systems lead to food safety risks. She said Toxoplasma gondii from finishers or sows in outdoor productions could be a risk, when in e.g. sub-optimal heat-treated pork.

    Once more, Marianne Sandberg (Danish Agriculture & Food Council) presented a research, this time asking whether organic and free-range production systems lead to food safety risks. She said Toxoplasma gondii from finishers or sows in outdoor productions could be a risk, when in e.g. sub-optimal heat-treated pork.

  • Jan Dahl, Danish Agriculture and Food Council: "Buying in gilts or boars from high prevalence Salmonella herds increases the risk of becoming serologically positive, but it has little direct effect on the quantitative level in the herd."

    Jan Dahl, Danish Agriculture and Food Council: "Buying in gilts or boars from high prevalence Salmonella herds increases the risk of becoming serologically positive, but it has little direct effect on the quantitative level in the herd."

  • Benedicte Callens, Ghent University, Belgium, presented a study to the relation between antimicrobial use and resistance in Belgian herds. Using E.coli she said "it seems that the frequency of drug administration may play a role in the selection of resistance." She added that the higher the biosecurity, the lower the antibiotics used on farms.

    Benedicte Callens, Ghent University, Belgium, presented a study to the relation between antimicrobial use and resistance in Belgian herds. Using E.coli she said "it seems that the frequency of drug administration may play a role in the selection of resistance." She added that the higher the biosecurity, the lower the antibiotics used on farms.

  • Last but not least, Bernd-Alois Tenhagen also zoomed in on the topic of antibiotic resistance - but in Salmonella, over 10 years, in Germany. He said: "Substantial changes in resistance rates have only been observed in amphenicols." Rest was more or less variable or low.

    Last but not least, Bernd-Alois Tenhagen also zoomed in on the topic of antibiotic resistance - but in Salmonella, over 10 years, in Germany. He said: "Substantial changes in resistance rates have only been observed in amphenicols." Rest was more or less variable or low.

Editor PigProgress

One comment

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    Bea Elliott

    "Safe pork"? Certainly not safe for the pigs!

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