The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is amending its regulations to establish a voluntary trichinae certification program for U.S. pork.

Under the new program, APHIS will certify pork production sites that follow good production practices that reduce, eliminate or avoid the risk of exposure of swine to Trichinella parasites. Good production practices include feed integrity (such as a clean and well known source of feed and proper feed storage) as well as facility construction and condition.

This voluntary certification program offers American producers a set of guidelines to standardize their pork production methods and practices. The program also offers overseas markets a USDA certification that Trichinella protections are in place at participating U.S. farms without having to test every animal and every product.

While Trichinella is extremely rare in the United States, APHIS’ voluntary certification program is designed to enhance the ability of producers to export pork and pork products overseas. The European Union and other foreign markets require Trichinella testing for all imports of fresh pork and fresh pork products.

Trichinella is a parasitic species of worm found in many warm-blooded carnivores and omnivores, including swine. Transmission from one host to another only occurs by the ingestion of infected muscle tissue. The primary vector for Trichinella parasites in swine is the consumption of raw meat waste and, in some cases, the consumption of rodents or other animals.

Source: The PigSite.com