Trichinella sprialis — commonly known as trichinae — has virtually been eliminated from the U.S. swine herd. But the industry continues to face the many hurdles and stigmas that this old issue brings with it in pork's domestic and export customers' minds. It's still the driver behind people over cooking pork today.
Now, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service wants to establish a voluntary trichinae certification program for the U.S. pork industry. It would ensure that U.S. pork producers standardize and certify their production protocols to ensure trichinae-free pork. It also would offer overseas buyers a USDA certification verifying trichinae safeguards without having to test every animal and every product.
For the past 50 years, production, biosecurity, feeding and farm hygiene protocols have essentially eliminated Trichinella spiralis from pork production. However, some markets, specifically the European Union, require testing for all fresh pork and fresh pork product imports.
According to the APHIS proposal, the agency would certify pork production sites that follow good practices to reduce, eliminate or avoid the risk Trichinella spiralis exposure. Such practices focus on feed integrity as well as facility construction and condition with regard to biosecurity.
USDA, the National Pork Board and the pork processing industry have developed the voluntary certification, and will consider public comments received on or before July 16.
Send an original and three copies of printed comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0089, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.
To submit a comment using the Internet, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu; then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0089 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.