Editors: A list of alliance members is attached. COLLEGE STATION — An alliance based at Texas A&M University is ready to help the meat and poultry industries deal with changes they will face under a new food safety system.
The National Meat and Poultry HACCP Alliance is the first major initiative of Texas A&M University’s Center for Food Safety. The alliance will direct education, research, training and communications programs about the new Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point food safety program, said Dr. H. Russell Cross, the center’s director.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is expected to introduce mandatory HACCP regulations by late summer or early fall that will be required in all meat and poultry manufacturing plants. The regulations “could be the most significant USDA legislation in the last two decades,” said Cross, who served as administrator of the inspection service from February 1992 to February 1994.
He is now director of Texas A&M’s Institute for Food Science and Technology and a professor of animal science. The Center for Food Safety is one of four centers within the institute.
Cross said HACCP, when used as a process control system in food production, focuses on preventing food hazards from occurring and reducing the potential for contamination.
“While HACCP has been used by the space program since the early 1960s to produce safe food for our nation’s astronauts, it has not been widely adopted by the industry,” Cross said.
“However, the food industry continues to make dramatic changes in its products, focusing on providing safer, value-added, high quality foods for consumers. HACCP is an excellent fit in the food industry’s future because it is a precise, well-documented program designed to improve the safety of new food products.”
The alliance will help prepare all participants in the food production system to adopt HACCP practices, Cross said. This would include farmers and ranchers, packers, processors, food stores, restaurants and food service institutions.
He estimated that over the next three to five years, as many as 10,000 industry personnel will need training to develop and implement HACCP programs that meet federal requirements.
Alliance board members have elected Steve Krut, executive director of the American Association of Meat Processors, as chairman. Don Dalton of the Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association is vice chairman.
Dr. Beth Lautner of the National Pork Producers Council is treasurer and Dr. Jim Marsden of the American Meat Institute is secretary.
Among the alliance’s activities will be establishment of standardized HACCP curricula, classroom and on-site training, and education of industry and consumers about the use of HACCP experts, research and regulations.
The alliance will also develop HACCP models for meat and poultry products, which companies can use as a starting point for establishing their individual company programs, Cross said.
NATIONAL MEAT AND POULTRY HAACP ALLIANCE MEMBERS
American Association of Meat Processors
American Meat Institute
American Sheep Industry Association
Food Marketing Institute
National Association of Meat Purveyors
National Cattlemen’s Association
National Food Safety and Toxicology Center
National Live Stock and Meat Board
National Pork Producers Council
National Restaurant Assoc. Education Foundation
Southeast Meat Association
Southeast Poultry and Egg Association
Southwest Meat Association
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Texas Beef Council
Texas Cattle Feeders Association
U.S. Meat Export Federation
Western States Meat Association
PROFESSIONAL and OTHER ASSOCIATIONS
American Association of Food Hygiene Veterinarians
American Meat Science Association
American Society of Animal Science
American Veterinary Medical Association
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
Institute of Food Technologists
Food Processors Institute
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
Brigham Young University
Colorado State University
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
Louisiana State University
North Carolina State University
North Dakota State University
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
Oklahoma State University
Pennsylvania State University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
University of Arkansas
University of California – Davis
University of Florida (Animal Science & Food Science)
University of Georgia
University of Idaho
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska
University of Wisconsin
University of Wyoming
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia State University
Washington State University
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
USDA – Cooperative Extension Service
Food and Drug Administration
Centers for Disease Control
Canada, Agriculture Canada, Food Production and Inspection Branch
New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Mexico, Animal Health
Australia, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service