Swine industry preparing for PQA 3, audits
BY DAVE STENDER
Currently, swine producers are facing several industry changes, many of which are related to increased record keeping.
The two key issues that pork producers are facing include continued food safety and animal well-being.
Pork Quality Assurance 3 is a revised certification program which aims to help swine producers face these issues and industry changes.
PQA 3 replaces the current PQA Plus program and is a producer-driven program used to ensure U.S. pork products are safe, of the highest quality and that the animals raised for food are cared for in a humane way.
The current PQA program has proven successful because of significant producer participation, customer acceptance, emphasized animal welfare, and most importantly, we have seen a measurable reduction in the instances of residues in pork.
Modeled after the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point programs used by food manufacturers to ensure the safety of food products, PQA 3 has been customized for on-farm use.
The PQA program is designed to identify practices that could result in a food safety hazard, and minimize the potential risk through producer education.
In addition to individual certification through classroom time, each swine operation will have a site assessment in preparation for a packer pig welfare common audit.
The overarching goal of the common audit process is to provide consumers greater assurance of the care taken by farmers and pork processors to ensure animal well-being and food safety.
The audit tool builds on the existing PQA Plus program and expands it to serve as a single, common audit platform for the pork industry.
This new audit is designed to:
A). Meet individual company and customer needs.
B). Be focused on outcome-based criteria that measure and improve animal welfare.
C). Provide clarity to producers about audit standards and expectations.
D). Minimize duplication and prevent over-sampling.
E). Ensure greater integrity of the audit process through consistent application.
F). Provide an objective, science-based platform to facilitate continuous improvement in animal care.
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