Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 53

Bacterial pathogens associated with not ready-to-eat
(NRTE) and RTE pork products include the non-typhoidal
salmonellae, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter spp.,
Yersinia enterocolitica, and Listeria monocytogenes (11, 16).
The Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Point (PR/HACCP) Systems Final Rule, published in 1996
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and
Inspection Service (FSIS), established pathogen reduction
performance standards for Salmonella in inspected meat
and poultry products (37). For market hog carcasses, no
more than 6 positive Salmonella samples per set of 55 are
allowed (36). Recent microbiological baseline studies have
reported that post-harvest Salmonella prevalence on market
hog carcasses has fallen to 1.66% (40). Nevertheless, toxinproducing E. coli (STEC), Toxoplasma gondii, methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Y. enterocolitica,
and microbiological indicators (aerobes, Enterobacteriaceae,
E. coli, and coliforms) are currently being evaluated on
pork carcasses and cuts for prevalence and in some cases,
quantities and identities (48).
Of the approximately 6,000 federally inspected meat and
poultry processing facilities, 78.5% are classified as Small or
Very Small (20). Consequently, special attention has been
given to the food safety practices of these establishments.
In 2006, FSIS issued its Strategic Implementation Plan
for Strengthening Small and Very Small Plant Outreach to
increase establishments' access to food safety and regulatory
compliance resources, technical assistance, education, and
training (38). Additionally, FSIS maintains a "Small and Very
Small Plant Outreach" page on its website, with information
and resources developed specifically for Small and Very
Small establishments (49). However, Small and Very Small
meat and poultry processors face financial obstacles to the
implementation of food safety practices and interventions requiring large capital investment. Boland et al. (8) determined
that FSIS estimates of costs for total HACCP system implementation for Small plants in the great plains region were
3.87 to 4.42 times greater than those reported by surveyed
establishments. This would indicate that the costs of food
safety systems implementation likely limits the attractiveness
of complex antimicrobial interventions requiring substantial
capital investment, facility renovation, or hiring of highly
trained individuals capable of overseeing intervention use
during processing. A survey of U.S. meat and poultry slaughter and processing establishments found that smaller plants
invested less in capital-intensive food safety technologies
than larger plants, opting instead to invest in labor-intensive
food safety measures in sanitation and operations (17). Large
establishments, in contrast, may employ a multi-hurdle approach designed to produce desired cumulative reduction in
pathogen loads on carcasses and products. Thus, it is critical
to develop and disseminate information to smaller facilities
detailing the implementation and use of sanitary animal
slaughter and carcass handling procedures.

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office
(GAO) (35), the development of best practices involves
identifying organizations that are widely recognized for
major improvements in their performance and efficiency
in a specific area; the processes, practices, and systems
identified in these organizations are referred to as best
practices and provide a model for other organizations with
similar missions. Best practices developed for Small and
Very Small establishments producing NRTE pork products
should provide practical, science-based information to
assist establishments in improving food safety systems. The
objective of this study was to survey Small and Very Small
inspected facilities producing NRTE pork products with
regard to their current food safety and sanitation practices in
order to determine needs by this sector of the pork industry
and apply findings toward development of food safety
recommendations to protect the microbiological safety of
fresh pork products.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Survey of Small and Very Small pork slaughter and
processing establishments
A multi-component, multi-question survey assessing
the sanitary processing practices of pork slaughter and
processing establishments was adapted from a similar
instrument developed and shared by J. N. Sofos, Dept. of
Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins,
CO. The survey instrument and supporting documents were
evaluated by the Texas A&M University Institutional Review
Board (IRB; No. 2017-0234), and it was determined that
the research did not constitute human subjects research.
Dillman's Tailored Design Method was used to collect
data in this study, using mailed paper questionnaires that
(13) were mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to 131 Small
and Very Small establishments engaged in pork slaughter
and/or not ready-to-eat (NRTE) products manufacture in
Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states. Establishments
eligible to participate were identified through the Texas
Association of Meat Processors (TAMP) directory and the
FSIS Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory
(42). A postage-paid return envelope was included in the
survey packet, as well as a cover letter describing the research
objectives, intended use of responses, measures to maintain
respondent anonymity with respect to data reporting,
and contact information for study investigators (13). Also
included were instructions for completing and returning
the survey instrument. Following a 6-week response period
after initial distribution of the packets, a second invitation
(complete with questionnaire and return envelope) was
mailed to non-responding facilities.
Information requested included establishment processing
and product manufacturing data, plant layout, sanitation
practices, food safety interventions and food safety verification procedures utilized by the establishment. Surveys were

January/February Food Protection Trends

53



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018

Assessing the Usage of Food Thermometers at American University Football Tailgates
An Assessment of Potential Heavy Metal Contaminants in Bivalve Shellfish from Aquaculture Zones along the Coast of New South Wales, Australia
Mental Models of Pasteurized and Unpasteurized Milk Product Consumption in the United States
Sanitary Carcass Dressing and Food Safety Practices in South Central U.S. Small and Very Small Establishments Manufacturing Fresh and Not-Ready-to-Eat Pork Products
Beyond the Bio - Joe Frank
PDG Highlight The Dairy Safety & Quality Professional Development Group
General Interest Paper The Role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in the Fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Industry Products
Coming Events
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 1
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 2
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 3
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 4
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 5
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 6
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 7
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Assessing the Usage of Food Thermometers at American University Football Tailgates
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 9
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 10
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 11
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 12
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 13
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 14
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 15
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 16
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 17
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - An Assessment of Potential Heavy Metal Contaminants in Bivalve Shellfish from Aquaculture Zones along the Coast of New South Wales, Australia
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 19
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 20
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 21
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 22
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 23
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 24
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 25
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 26
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Mental Models of Pasteurized and Unpasteurized Milk Product Consumption in the United States
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 28
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 29
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 30
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 31
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 32
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 33
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 34
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 35
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 36
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 37
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 38
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 39
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 40
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 41
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 42
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 43
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 44
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 45
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 46
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 47
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 48
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 49
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 50
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 51
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Sanitary Carcass Dressing and Food Safety Practices in South Central U.S. Small and Very Small Establishments Manufacturing Fresh and Not-Ready-to-Eat Pork Products
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 53
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 54
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 55
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 56
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 57
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 58
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 59
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 60
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 61
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 62
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 63
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 64
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 65
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 66
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 67
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Beyond the Bio - Joe Frank
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 69
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 70
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - PDG Highlight The Dairy Safety & Quality Professional Development Group
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - General Interest Paper The Role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in the Fight against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 73
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 74
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 75
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 76
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 77
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 78
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 79
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 80
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 81
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Industry Products
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 83
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 84
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 85
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 86
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - 87
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Coming Events
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Cover3
Food Protection Trends - January/February 2018 - Cover4
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