Food Safety

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    Food Safety Scientist

    Food -- a perfect medium to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts. Pick and choose from a curriculum that incorporates real life experience into virtual and hands-on labs, classroom discussion guides, presentations and videos. Not only do students learn a STEM concept, they increase their awareness of food and agriculture careers that are related to the safety of the food supply.

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    What’s going on with U.S. “Ag Gag” laws?

    During the April 5th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we received updates regarding “ag gag” litigation in the United States. Dave Aiken, Agricultural Law Specialist with University of Nebraska-Lincoln, discussed the most recent farm animal legislation trends and cases, which states are involved, and considerations for the sensitive topics.

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    Tips for Feeding Poultry Wisely

    During the March 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we learned the basics of feeding poultry. Brett Kreifels, Extension Assistant-4-H with University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explained the nutritional requirements and basic feeding tips to help ensure the health and well-being of chickens.

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    Farm Animal Antibiotic Resistance and Stewardship

    During the February 1st Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, we heard one of the leading experts discuss the challenging social concerns of antibiotic resistance. Michael Apley, Frick Professor of Clinical Sciences with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, challenged listeners to better understand the difference between judicious use and stewardship of antibiotics by reviewing the many factors involved in epidemiology (study of incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases).

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    VFD Resources for My Show Animal

    January 1st marked the effective start date of the veterinary feed directive (VFD) regulations. During the January 4th Animal Care Wednesday Webinar we heard from two great speakers on resources for show animals regarding these new VFD regulations. Bernie O’Rourke, University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Youth Livestock Specialist, shared how Wisconsin prepared their youth exhibitor families with information on the VFD regulations.

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    Introducing Youth for the Quality Care of Animals!

    Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a quality assurance program for youth livestock producers aged 8 to 21. The YQCA program covers the seven major species of food producing animals: beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, and rabbits. To assist various education levels with meeting the learning objectives, the curriculum content is targeted to four age groups: Junior (8-11), Intermediate (12-14), Senior (15-18), and Young Adult (19-21).

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    Safeguarding the Food We Eat: SDSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

    The Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Lab (ADRDL) at SDSU has a specific lab dedicated to food safety testing for smaller family businesses like the local locker plant. It’s a very natural fit. Most foodborne germs are very similar to those the lab routinely diagnoses in cases of animal disease. They already possess the people, equipment, and most importantly the knowledge to rapidly and accurately detect these germs in food.

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    How Do Genetics Impact Animal Well-Being?

    During the October Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Dr. Michael Gonda, South Dakota State University Associate Professor of Animal Genetics, discussed the difficult topic of the impacts that genetic technologies have on food animal farming and ranching. Genetic engineering (GE) refers to the insertion, deletion, or modification of a specific region of DNA in an organism.

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    Superbugs from Livestock Care Practices?

    During the September Animal Care Wednesday Webinar, Dr. Gretchen Hill, Michigan State University Professor of Nutrition, began her presentation regarding antibiotic resistant bacteria with a powerful statement highlighting a misconception of society that current livestock care practices could be producing an unsafe food source.

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    So You Think You Want to Raise Backyard Chickens?

    As families desire to raise their own food, more people are beginning to raise chickens and other poultry in urban and suburban areas. When people bring poultry into communities and their backyards, issues can arise. Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky Poultry Extension Project Manager, presented some of these challenges during the August Animal Care Wednesday Webinar.

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    Summertime Food Safety

    During warm weather, it is especially important to take extra precautions and practice safe food handling when preparing perishable foods such as meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. The warmer weather conditions may be ideal for outdoor picnics and barbecues, but they also provide a perfect environment for bacteria and other pathogens in food to multiply rapidly and cause foodborne illness.

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    Food Safety Starts on the Farm

    Farmers are entrusted with the care of the animals that produce our food before it gets to our plates. Whether food is purchased in a grocery store, a farmers market, or directly from a farmer, the animals that produce the food have been provided the best possible care and handling throughout their lives to ensure the food supply is safe. As relevant topics are written discussing on-farm management practices that impact the safety of our food supply, the select iGrow articles will be updated.

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    Safe and Quality Meat Preparation

    Meat provides protein and other essential nutrients to our diets, however, if not handled and prepared properly, it can also carry pathogens. Within this article are links to information about methods of preparing meat, handling meat safely, various cuts of meat, and other meat science topics. Select iGrow articles will be added to as relevant topics are written.

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    Selling Food Gifts Made at Home

    If you have a special recipe or canned jelly that people tell you is “good enough to sell!” and you would like to do just that to make a little holiday money, or if you have a bake sale or bazaar to organize for fundraising, these are some of the guidelines you should follow in order to comply with state regulations to sell your products.

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    Tis’ The Season of Raw Milk and Cream

    Consumers may seek out milk and cream fresh from the farm that has not been pasteurized or homogenized for many types of holiday dishes their family has enjoyed for years. Several of these dishes have a cooking step that brings the food to a temperature that will destroy the pathogens that may be present in raw milk.

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    Date Marketing Ready-to-Eat Refrigerated Foods from Licensed Kitchens

    Licensed foodservice establishments commonly prepare foods to be marketed as a packaged food item. Product dating for ready-to-eat (RTE), temperature controlled for safety foods must be marketed or consumed within a certain amount of time for safety. If a food is potentially hazardous and is held for at least 24 hours it must be labeled with a specific date for consumption or discarded.

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