Section E: Regulation and handling of animal products: a special challenge
- Projected Outcomes
- Background / Lessons
- Career Pathway content standards
- Students will understand how concerns about food safety affect sustainable animal production and marketing.
Animal products pose special food safety risks. As a result their handling and sale is subject to special regulation. These special regulations can affect the ability of sustainable farmers to direct market their animal products.
Food Safety of Animal Products
Animal products carry special risks of foodborne illness. Because of these risks, we handle them in special ways to prevent pathogens from growing and to kill any pathogens before we consume them. These special handling techniques include chilling, salting, and cooking.
(There is a lot of consumer information on foodborne illnesses. Some sources include http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets/Foodborne_Illness_&_Disease_Fact_Sheets/index.asp, http://www.foodsafety.gov/~fsg/f01chart.html, http://foodsafety.unl.edu/, http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/foodsafety.shtml)
Optional student activity: Divide students into small groups. Have each group read CDC information about a common food pathogen, such as Campylobacter, E coli O 157:H7, Listeria, and Salmonella, at http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/alldisease.htm. Have each group present key information about what the illness is, how it is transmitted, and how it can be prevented to the class.
For another angle, students could read sample case studies intended to educate doctors and nurses about diagnosing and reporting foodborne illness at http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/36/2004_food_salmonella.pdf or http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/36/2004_food_o157.pdf. These cases will give them a sense of how difficult it can be to diagnose and track food borne illness.
Regulation of Animal Products
How do concerns about food safety affect sustainable animal marketing?
Many sustainable farmers direct-market their products. Direct marketing allows them to get their products to consumers who appreciate their special attributes. Direct marketing benefits the consumers who can get food with the special attributes they want, and it benefits farmers by raising the price they receive for their goods. Some of the attributes prized by consumers include animals raised without antibiotics or hormones, animals raised on pasture, and animals from local family farms.
However, because of concerns about food safety, the sale of animal products is far more heavily regulated than the sale of fruits and vegetables. Farmers need to make sure they follow the law. The regulations on selling animal products can be different in each state, and sometimes local governments impose additional requirements. Farmers can contact the state, county, and local agencies responsible for enforcing these regulations, the county extension service, or a state commodity group to get information about the regulations that apply to them.
Career Pathway content standards
|National Agricultural Education Standards
Performance Element or
(in this section)
|1. List and counter concerns about food safety in sustainable animal production and marketing.
|AS.06.02 Implement procedures to ensure that animal products are safe.
FS.02.03 Apply safety and sanitation procedures in the handling, processing, and storing of food products.
FS.02.04 Demonstrate worker safety procedures with food product and processing equipment and facilities.
CS.06 Examine the importance of health, safety, and environmental management systems in organizations and their importance to performance and regulatory compliance.
ABS.06.03 Develop specific tactics to market AFNR products and services.