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Animal identification: links to food safety
|Author(s) :||D.J. Vitiello & A.M. Thaler|
Improvements in food safety in the United States of America are currently limited by the lack of an open, reliable and uniform animal identification system. Public health would benefit from the development of such a system because this would permit accountability for and prevention of food safety hazards, including residues and harmful pathogens. In addition, the public would benefit because data collection and long-term research studies are currently hampered by the lack of animal identification. Understanding of the ecology of food-borne pathogens in the production and handling period before slaughter needs to be improved. Animal identification will permit packers and consumers to reward producers for using food safety- related production practices. Food animal producers do not regularly receive an economic advantage for voluntarily undertaking food safety-related production practices. As a result, the original source of many food animals that enter official establishments is unknown. However, the hazard analysis and critical control point system allows some producers to offer identified animals under verified production control programmes or to enter into agreements with packers with regard to the food safety status of animals.