Pig processors to save money on US exports

Pork processors exporting to the US may be able to benefit from cost savings after an agreement with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to AHDB Pork.

Finished pigs that have come from controlled housing with the intention of being exported frozen to the US no longer need to be tested for trichinella, a disease caused by the larvae of ringworm. However, finished pigs from ‘uncontrolled’ housing, alongside boars and sows, still need to be tested.

“The testing can be very expensive for the larger processors involved in exporting to the US,” explained Emma Bailey-Beech, food safety project manager at AHDB Pork.

“The Food Standards Agency has publicised this change but some of the abattoirs are still not aware of it. This could mean big savings for them.”

A new and improved trichinella test, which removes the need for pepsin powder or hydrochloric acid, both of which require careful handling, is now available.

However, before any change in testing is put into practice, updated standard operating procedures should be provided to the plant’s official veterinarian. This could include the age of the animal at time of slaughter and laboratory testing details.

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