Healthy Animals. Confident Consumers

Healthy Animals. Confident Consumers

“The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes”

National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research The connection between animal health, food safety, and consumer confidence is the subject of National C-FAR’s seventh Research Hill Seminar in 2012 on Monday, May 7, at 10 AM in 337 Russell Senate Office Building and again at a ‘Lunch~N~Learn’ at noon in 1302 Longworth House Office Building. The featured speaker is Dr. H. Scott Hurd, Associate Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University.

“The health of the animals within the food animal production system impacts many aspects of the system far removed from the animals themselves,” says Hurd, chair of the paper’s task force. “We address the relationship between animal health and food safety by focusing on direct and indirect impacts that animal health may have on public health.”

“This presentation provides an excellent example of the value of federally funded food and agricultural research in producing the scientific outcomes and outreach needed to meet 21st century challenges and opportunities,” says Chuck Conner, President of the National Coalition for Food & Agricultural Research (National C-FAR).

Abstract: As global food demands increase, the need for healthy livestock must be brought into focus. To promote high productivity in animal agriculture, decision makers need to consider nutrition, management systems, and biomedical policies including housing, the use of antibiotics, and vaccines. This new CAST paper addresses the relationship between animal health and food safety by focusing on direct and indirect impacts that animal health may have on public health. Because housing, feeding, and location (e.g., local) are significant factors in the health of an animal, alterations in livestock production methods may have an effect on human health. The U.S. food safety inspection system holds that healthy animals are essential for safe food and inspects accordingly, but good health can’t be determined solely on the way an animal looks while alive. The authors cite studies demonstrating the connection between subclinical (not visibly ill) animal health and carcass contamination with foodborne pathogens. The authors suggest several future research topics to help ensure food safety.

Seminar presentations are available at http://www.ncfar.org/Hill_Seminar_Series.asp. The seminar is open to the public and the media.

4.27.2012