Researchers from around the world gathered in Porto, Portugal, recently to take part in the Safe Pork 2015 conference, a biennial meeting that the Pork Checkoff has played a role in since itsIMG_0039.JPG inception in 1995. The 11th international symposium focused on the pork production chain – from farm to processor – and emphasized a comprehensive approach to pork safety and public health.

“The main goal of the conference is the exchange of knowledge among researchers, the pork industry and others who are active in all aspects of food safety related to pigs and pork,” said Steve Larsen, the Pork Checkoff’s director of pork safety.

With more than 200 participants from all major pork-producing regions of the world, Safe Pork reviewed evolving research in several areas, including on-farm pathogens, residues and environmental hazards. Since 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 attended. The participants were updated on 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.”

Brad Greenway, a producer from Mitchell, South Dakota, and a past National Pork Board member, was one of several U.S. pork industry representative who attended the symposium.

“It’s been great to network with some of the world’s foremost experts in pork safety,” Greenway 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.”

To learn more about how U.S. pig farmers help protect food safety, visit http://www.porkcares.org/our-practices/food-safety-in-pork-production.