Tom Miller, Field Specialist-Swine, Southeast Area
Food Safety has become a front and center issue with American consumers. The HACAP program for meat and dairy produce administered through FSIS needed to reach back further in the supply chain to assure consumer safety. Packers are challenged to identify chemical, microbial and any physical contamination occurring prior to harvest of the animal. Food produced by 4-H youth in the state of Iowa represents approximately 17 million pounds of meat, poultry and milk products each year. Although not a large percentage of total meat, poultry and milk production for the state the food produced is still a significant amount.
Iowa State University Extension Staff, along with commodity livestock organizations and other universities, have compiled a two hour curriculum composed of educational materials which allow young adults the opportunity to realize the impact their project has on the food supply. Teaching youth about food safety and the impact their care of the project could have on food safety. The National Pork Board allows youth to be PQA certified after attending the training which is needed as most pork packing plants require all producers to be PQA certified to deliver swine for harvest.
A class was offered for each county with youth attending as well as interested adults with this class being taught by a ISUE Swine/Livestock Specialist. The program has several hands on activities including ration feed mixing, black light contamination scenario along with a FSQA Jeopardy game which youth have seemed to enjoy and learn from.
-- Certification was taught to 628 youth in the area served. Ten meetings were held and advertised across county lines to allow youth to attend different events
-- Swine packers reported zero violations for the year 2006 in the counties covered.
-- Youth, parents and 4-H leaders have had many favorable comments about the progam and its impact.
April 11, 2007
150 Iowa Pork Industry Center
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April 16, 2007
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