In April, the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a compliance guide for residue prevention at slaughter establishments. In May, I discussed this with beef producers at the WSU Beef300 course and thought it would be worth sharing a summary in the newsletter.
For 45 years, the USDA:FSIS has been evaluating meat, poultry and eggs for chemical residues (including antibiotics). If samples test positive for residues, FSIS shares this information with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With implementation of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plans within packing plants, plants have to identify residue hazards and develop systems to prevent them. Those plants that continue to purchase livestock from repeat residue violators (more than one residue violation in 12 months) put themselves at risk for non-compliance actions.
The first suggestion to reduce residue risks is for plants to know where animals are coming from through better animal identification, so they can check the repeat violator list. The second suggestion is to require some type of certification from the sellers that the animals do not come from a repeat violator premise. The repeat violator can still sell animals but they have to ensure that they now have controls in place that prevent residues or the plant could explore live animal testing. At this point, the new Guide emphasizes that packing plants (particularly those slaughtering dairy cows and bob veal calves) apply the following measures:
- Confirm producer violator history
- Buy residue-free animals
- Ensure that animals are adequately identified
- Supply producer information to FSIS at ante-mortem (before slaughter) inspection
- Notify producers of violative animals
Good animal identification, complete records and residue prevention practices on the farm will go a long way to keep the market open for dairy cattle and bob veal and prevent visits from the FDA. If you are a dairy producer, check to see if your records are FDA-ready by visiting the WSU VetExtension site.
For the full USDA report, click here.
This article is reprinted with permission from the Washington State University Veterinary Medicine Extension Summer 2012 e-newsletter.