Researchers have gathered in Portland, Maine this week to take part in the annual Safe Pork 2013 conference, a biennial meeting that the Pork Checkoff has played a role in since its inception. The international symposium continues its focus on the pork production chain - from farm to processor - that plays a critical role in pork safety and public health.
"The main goal of this conference is the exchange of knowledge between international researchers and representatives of authorities and industry who are active in all aspects of food safety related to pigs and pork," said Dr. Steve Larsen, the Checkoff's director of pork safety and co-chair of Safe Pork 2013.
With participants from all major pork-producing regions of the world, Safe Pork reviewed evolving research in areas including on-farm pathogens, residues and environmental hazards. As the meeting takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of pork safety and public health, swine-related manufacturers, veterinarians, transport companies and meat processors also attend. Together, participants are updated on the various national and regional regulations and governmental statutes that can affect the use of production inputs.
"This meeting brings together many of the best researchers in the world who make pork safety their everyday job," Larsen said. "It's gratifying to see the collaboration this event fosters to advance the international pork industry's knowledge in this critical area of research."
Karen Richter, president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Montgomery, Minn., was one of several U.S. pork producers attending the symposium.
"It's been great to network with some of the world's foremost experts in pork safety," Richter said. "I'm very proud that the Pork Checkoff plays a role in making this meeting happen because there's no greater priority to our consumers than keeping pork safe and wholesome."