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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium, 18-20 May 2005 (Beijing, China) Publication Date 18 May 2005  701P0205.(doi:10.13031/2013.18421)
Authors:   S.L. McClanahan
Keywords:   HACCP, beef, feedlot, food animal, preharvest, food safety

In the United States, great measures have been taken to produce safe food for consumers. Yet, foodborne illnesses due to bacterial pathogens such as E. coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella spp. remain ongoing problems in the food industry. With the identification of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in North America, the potential for zoonotic contamination of the food supply remains real. In addition, growing concerns over antibiotic residues and resistance problems related to food animal industries continue to increase. Furthermore, heightened consumer awareness of animal handling and welfare has placed new demands on food animal production systems.

In the United States, the beef industry has been proactive in food safety and animal welfare by implementing on-farm beef quality assurance and best management practice programs. These programs have been based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles implemented in post-harvest food systems such as processing plants. Since the implementation of HACCP, the risk and incidence of food-borne illnesses has been greatly reduced. Currently, the science-based HACCP approach has not been fully developed at the preharvest or on-farm level. However, such an approach would further increase food safety and address consumer demands.

In this paper, the principles of HACCP will be reviewed. In addition, on-site HACCP compatible practices will be explored at the pre-harvest food safety level of beef production in the United States. Current research on pre-harvest intervention strategies will also be reviewed.

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