Currently, pork exported to Russia must be either frozen according to a USDA Food Safety Inspection Service regulation, or every shipment must be tested and declared trichinae-free, according to Russian rules. Either step adds cost and potential for delays and other interruptions of the market. Modern pork production practices have virtually eliminated trichinae from the U.S. hog population, which makes the regulations more frustrating.

The goal would be to have U.S. trading partners recognize the U.S. Trichinae Certification Program now being pilot tested, as an effective alternative to freeze-or-inspect requirements. To accomplish this, the U.S. Meat Export Federation, National Pork Board and National Pork Producers Council recently joined forces with USDA to show a Russian official how the program works and why they should recognize it as a safe alternative to current regulations.

The Trichinae Certification Program is a pre-harvest pork safety program that provides documentation of swine management practices which minimize risk of exposure of swine to the parasite Trichinella spiralis. By adhering to these practices facilities can be certified as trichinae-free.

Pilot testing of the program is expected to be completed next year and should lead to a nationwide on-farm food safety program for the U.S. pork industry. If Russia also agrees to participate in the pilot test, success could lead to similar recognition of the program by other trading partners.

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation