To­day in the USA

Food safety fo­cus af­ter the bird flu spot­light

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

So­lu­tions sought to US an­tibi­otic ban

As the 2017 dead­line for ban­ning the use of sub ther­a­peu­tic an­tibi­otics looms large in the USA, large num­bers of poul­try farm­ers and in­te­gra­tors are try­ing to find the per­fect so­lu­tion for the fu­ture.

Some pro­duc­ers have al­ready felt the first ef­fects of the ban. Mike Dono­hue of Agri Stats, no­ticed a slight de­crease in broiler pro­duc­tion, which could be the re­sult of an­tibi­otic-free pro­duc­tion. Due to con­sumer trends and re­tail cus­tomers re­quest­ing birds free of an­tibi­otics, the in­dus­try is us­ing fewer tools - and not gain­ing feed con­ver­sion.

How­ever, the so­lu­tion for the pre­cur­sors and strag­glers alike is not a sim­ple one. There is not a sin­gle di­rect sub­sti­tute for sub ther­a­peu­tic an­tibi­otics, in­clud­ing ad­di­tives, man­age­ment mea­sures or vet­eri­nary so­lu­tions. The task of keep­ing broil­ers

healthy post the 2017 ban will en­com­pass the en­tire sup­ply chain, right from breeder flock and hatch­ery through to the broiler house. It will also cover all pos­si­ble an­i­mal and farm man­age­ment as­pects.

Tight­en­ing food safety laws

New Federal reg­u­la­tions aimed at re­duc­ing the risk of sal­mo­nella and campy­lobac­ter in chicken prod­ucts have been fi­nalised by the US De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA).

With an es­ti­mated 1,2-mil­lion food­borne ill­nesses be­lieved to be as a re­sult of sal­mo­nella, the new reg­u­la­tions will lead to ap­prox­i­mately 50,000 less ill­nesses each year, ac­cord­ing to the USDA and the Food Safety In­spec­tion Ser­vice. The FSIS also said that its mi­cro­bial test­ing sched­ule at poul­try fa­cil­i­ties would soon be up­dated, with re­sults re­ported on­line.

“These new stan­dards will help pre­vent tens of thou­sands of food-borne ill­nesses ev­ery year,” said Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Tom Vil­sack.

A dis­in­fected wel­come

In a new twist to an old tra­di­tion, vis­i­tors to the re­cent IPPE in At­lanta in the USA were wel­comed not by the tra­di­tional mat or red car­pet but by dis­in­fec­tion mats and hand sani­tis­ers. This un­usual re­cep­tion served to re­in­force the chal­lenges faced by the US poul­try in­dus­try, rang­ing from the dev­as­tat­ing AI out­break through to an im­pend­ing ban on the use of an­tibi­otics.

De­bon­ing stops at Wayne Farms

The USA’S sixth largest ver­ti­cally in­te­grated poul­try pro­ducer will shut its de­bon­ing lines

at its Mis­sis­sippi plant with the loss of 500 jobs. A Wayne Farms spokesper­son said the com­pany’s other ten plants in the south­ern USA will re­main op­er­a­tional, in­clud­ing the re­cently ex­panded fresh pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity in Alabama.

No­mad lists on NYSE

No­mad Foods, pro­duc­ers of the Birds Eye, Iglo and Fin­dus brands of frozen foods, has listed on the New York Stock Ex­change. It was pre­vi­ously traded on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change. The com­pany be­lieves that its strate­gic vi­sion for long-term growth will gen­er­ate sig­nif­i­cant value for share­hold­ers as it builds a “best in class global con­sumer foods com­pany.”

Anger over US culling method

An­i­mal rights groups in the USA have se­verely crit­i­cised the USDA for us­ing ven­ti­la­tion shut­down to cull some of the more than 400,000 birds af­fected by an out­break of the highly path­o­genic H7N8 AI virus on a turkey farm in south­ern In­di­ana.

The prac­tice, which causes birds to die slowly from suf­fo­ca­tion or or­gan fail­ure due to over­heat­ing, can take up to 45 min­utes, some­thing which Peter Steven­son of Com­pas­sion in World Farm­ing, says is “shock­ing”. He says that by us­ing ven­ti­la­tion shut­down, the US gov­ern­ment is in breach of the OIE’S disease con­trol stan­dards.

“We’ve ad­vo­cated the use of 98% ni­tro­gen, packed in high ex­pan­sion foam to cull poul­try,” says Steven­son. “This is fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent from low ex­pan­sion fire­fight­ing foam that blocks the birds’ air­ways, thereby killing them through suf­fo­ca­tion.”

“There are more hu­mane ways to mass eu­thanise poul­try than in­ten­tion­ally caus­ing heat­stroke, which is a hor­ri­ble way to die,” said Michael Black­well of the Hu­mane So­ci­ety of the USA. “Ven­ti­la­tion shut­down should only be con­sid­ered as an ab­so­lute last re­sort.”¡

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