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Pork Checkoff Sponsors International Pork Safety Symposium

September 12, 2013                                        
Contact:  Cindy Cunningham
National Pork Board

 Pork Checkoff Sponsors International Pork Safety Symposium
Researchers Focus on Strategies to Keep Pork Safe

PORTLAND, MAINE - Researchers from all across the world have gathered in Portland, Maine this week to take part in the annualSafe Pork 2013conference, a biennial meeting that the Pork Checkoff has played a role in since its inception. The international symposium continues its focus on the pork production chain - from farm to processor - that plays a critical role in pork safety and public health.

"The main goal of this conference is the exchange of knowledge between international researchers and representatives of authorities and industry who are active in all aspects of food safety related to pigs and pork," saidDr. Steve Larsen, the Checkoff's director of pork safety and co-chair ofSafe Pork 2013.

With participants from all major pork-producing regions of the world,Safe Porkreviewed evolving research in areas including on-farm pathogens, residues and environmental hazards. As the meeting takes a comprehensive look at all aspects of pork safety and public health, swine-related manufacturers, veterinarians, transport companies and meat processors also attend. Together, participants are updated on the various national and regional regulations and governmental statutes that can affect the use of production inputs.

"This meeting brings together many of the best researchers in the world who make pork safety their everyday job," Larsen said. "It's gratifying to see the collaboration that this event fosters to advance the international pork industry's knowledge in this critical area of research."

Karen Richter, president of the National Pork Board and a producer from Montgomery, Minn., was one of several U.S. pork producers attending the symposium.

"It's been great to network with some of the world's foremost experts in pork safety," Richter said. "I'm very proud that the Pork Checkoff plays a role in making this meeting happen because there's no greater priority to our consumers than keeping pork safe and wholesome."

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or check the Internet at www.pork.org.

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