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Safety Professionals Reaffirm Commitment to Wholesome Beef at 10th Beef Safety Summit

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Date: Thursday, March 08, 2012

Beef safety professionals reaffirmed their commitment to “further reduce the risks associated with foodborne pathogens by utilizing scientifically proven production practices and technologies” during the 10th annual Beef Industry Safety Summit in Tampa, Fla. March 7-9. The pledge taken by the 250 in attendance was similar to one signed by those at the first summit, held in San Antonio, Tex., in 2003.

The summit, partially funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, is held to facilitate collaboration on beef safety among all sectors of the beef industry, from pasture to plate. Among participants in this year’s event were cattle producers, meat processors, food safety service providers and retail and foodservice operators.

Opening the program was a keynote session that recounted the history of beef safety since 1993, and the progress the industry has made since the first Beef Industry Safety Summit was conducted. Also on the agenda were sessions on sustaining the food industry, Salmonella, antibiotics, ground beef and consumer market research. Over a dozen research project presentations were also made in a research status update.

Since 1993 beef producers have invested more than $30 million through their Beef Checkoff Program in beef safety research and outreach. The Beef Industry Safety Summit is coordinated by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), contractor for the beef checkoff, on behalf of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo). The Summit has become the industry’s premier meeting to discuss current and emerging beef safety challenges.

Photo caption:  Laurie Bryant, Cattlemen’s Beef Board member and importer from Reston, Va., was one of Beef Industry Safety Summit attendees who signed a pledge that states, “As leaders in the beef industry, representing each link in the beef production chain, we reaffirm our commitment to further reduce the risks associated with foodborne pathogens by utilizing scientifically proven production practices and technologies. Our united goal is to produce, deliver and serve wholesome and safe beef for each and every family.”

 

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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.
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