Steve Moeller, an Ohio State University swine specialist, says understanding the intensive protocols is important to consumers concerned about swine influenza outbreaks and the impact on pork safety.
"First, it is important to note that the virus has not been isolated in any animals to date," Moeller said. "In addition, swine influenza viruses are not spread by food; therefore, consumers will not be infected with swine influenza from eating pork or pork products.
"Second, it's critical for consumers to know that pork producers implement extensive biosecurity protocols and carry out best management practices to prevent the introduction of disease-causing organisms to their operations. These practices protect the pig, the producer and the consumer."
Moeller said the biosecurity practices include strict control of human, equipment, transportation, vermin and wild animal traffic on the farm.
Prevention and control of disease outbreaks also includes a combination of animal care strategies, strict sanitation and appropriate vaccination schedules that reduce the chance of a disease outbreak.
Moeller said scientific advances in disease diagnostics and vaccine development allow producers to provide protection to the pig for numerous diseases, while improving the safety and wholesomeness of the food products at the consumer level.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International.