Providing safe pork products is our top priority.
At Christensen Farms, providing safe, wholesome food is our most important priority. We follow strict internal standard operating procedures and adhere to Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) to meet or exceed FDA standards. The PQA Plus program is modeled after Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) programs, used by food manufacturers to ensure the safety of food products. Developed in collaboration with the scientific community, governmental agencies and food chain partners, PQA Plus features stringent policies to improve the health of our herds, reduce the need for treatment intervention and promote food safety across our industry.
Christensen Farms employs a wide variety of technologies and techniques to minimize food safety risks. To eliminate the risk of pathogens picked up from soil, we raise our animals in well-maintained, temperature-controlled indoor facilities. Rigorous biosecurity measures extend throughout our operation, including new herd quarantines upon arrival and state-of-the-art truck washing and sterilization facilities to protect the health of herds during transport. We exceed FDA withdrawal times when medication is used to ensure tissues are free of residue and safe for consumers. Continuous training of caretakers supports proper identification of pigs in need, and adherence to treatment and documentation protocols if action is taken. To further embed our commitment to food safety assurance throughout our organization, we require all animal caretakers, employee and contract, to be PQA Plus® certified and re-certified annually. In addition, each farm is required to achieve annual PQA Plus® certification. While extensive, our food safety commitments reinforce our ability to confidently provide safe pork products to consumers around the world.
Christensen Farms believes in responsible use of antibiotics when required. We continuously strive to improve the health of our herds and reduce antibiotic use through vaccinations and feed nutrient innovations developed by our Ph.D. nutritionists. However, much like humans, animals can fall ill and require an antibiotic to fight an infection. In these cases, antibiotics are an important tool for treating an animal or herd in need, and decisions to provide antibiotic therapy are made in consultation with our veterinarians. When treatment includes antibiotic use, withdrawal times exceed those required by the FDA. Christensen Farms follows PQA Plus according to FDA standards and adheres to strict administration and documentation protocols to ensure a safe, wholesome product.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- AASV: Guidelines of Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Pork Production
- Pork Checkoff: Our Obligation to Public Health
- AASV: In-feed Antibiotics
FOREIGN ANIMAL DISEASE
The U.S. is one of the best places in the world to produce safe, wholesome, nutritious pork. As our economy becomes more global, introduction of diseases unknown to U.S. herds becomes more of a threat. While prevention is the best strategy, Christensen Farms is prepared to respond if the need arises. To protect our herds, we maintain an international biosecurity policy that requires visitors to observe time away from other swine before accessing our production locations. And, we routinely conduct audits to ensure internal biosecurity practices are upheld. In the event of new disease introduction, rapid response is critical. By collaborating with veterinary diagnostic laboratories and local public safety officials, Christensen Farms stands ready to execute an immediate response if required.