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Vet Parasitol. 2005 Sep 5;132(1-2):179-83.

Trichinae certification in the United States pork industry.

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  • 1USDA APHIS VS, 210 Walnut Street, Suite 891 Des Moines, IA 50309, USA.


Control of Trichinella infection in U.S. pork has traditionally been accomplished by inspection of individual carcasses at slaughter or by post-slaughter processing to inactivate parasites. We propose that an alternative to individual carcass testing or processing can be used when pigs are raised in production systems where risk of exposure to Trichinella spiralis has been mitigated. Declines in prevalence of this parasite in U.S. domestic swine during the last 30 years, coupled with improvements in pork production systems, now allow Trichinella control to be shifted to the farm through implementation of specific pork production practices. Knowledge of risk factors for exposure of swine to T. spiralis was used to develop an objective audit of risk that can be applied to pork production sites. In a pilot study, 461 production site audits were performed by trained veterinary practitioners. The on-farm audit included aspects of farm management, bio-security, feed and feed storage, rodent control programs and general hygiene. Of the 461 production site audits, 450 audits (97.6%) indicated compliance with the required good production practices. These sites are eligible for certification under the U.S. Trichinae Certification Program and will be audited regularly to maintain that status. The described trichinae certification mechanism will establish a process for ensuring the Trichinella safety of swine, and ultimately food products derived from swine, at the production level.

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