Pork Quality Assurance

July-September 2002

Terry Steinhart , swine field specialist


Customers and USDA are demanding pork producers to raise pigs that have no drug residues in the meat. Needles and foreign bodies cannot be found in meat products. As the pork industry becomes consolidated, wholesalers are very aware of how contaminated meat products affect their business. The USDA requires meat packers to be Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point certified. Part of this requirement is to know how the packer suppliers (pork producers) are raising wholesome pork.


Most packers require their pork suppliers to be Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) III certified. EXCEL was the last plant to require their producers to become certified. Iowa State University Extension has provided educational programs for several years certifying producers for PQA III, including youth swine exhibitors. This past year in the swine 4 H area, ten meetings have been held for certification.


One hundred and eighty-three producers were certified. As a result of the meetings, all attendees understood the problem that drug residues cause wholesalers. Seventy-five percent of the producers said they learned how to properly administer drugs. When a needle is bent, all producers understood the consequences of straightening and reusing the needle. Sixty-five percent of the attendees, after attending the meeting, now know how to read and understand feed labels.

Page last updated: July 10, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu