Safety Practices in Livestock Management Can Improve Nutrition, Health and Economic Growth
Food production businesses in the livestock industry face obstacles to sustainable food safety, particularly in handling and transportation. The lack of appropriate slaughter facilities can cause cross contamination and spoilage. Phytosanitary problems are often addressed with excessive antibiotic usage and wash water that can be contaminated with toxic substances. Many communities lack a trusted or centralized method of tracing outbreaks of contaminated foods, which prevents proactive product recalling.
Demand for food safety on the rise
As incomes rise, and as populations grow and migrate to urban areas, demand for higher-quality, and sustainably and safely produced animal proteins is expected to grow. To meet this demand, Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety, funded by USAID and implemented by Food Enterprise Solutions, has analyzed opportunities for improvements in food safety across the animal-sourced food system, from farmgate to market. Foremost in controlling quality and safety is a “cold chain,” the temperature-controlled component of the supply chain in perishable food. There are many productive opportunities in value-added processing for animal proteins, such as dry aging, high-pressure processing, and fermentation, which, if handled and stored sanitarily, reduce risk of foodborne illness in addition to adding diversified income streams for producers. Although proper cold-chain and processing facilities require investment, they can benefit producers by reducing food loss, mitigating food contamination and increasing market access and value.