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VeriPrime Approves New Best Practices for Beef Production
Date:4/1/2008

Resulting Beef is Eligible to Carry New Consumer Label

WICHITA, Kan., April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Protocols for the implementation of E. coli-safeguards, that include new best practices, animal husbandry, biosecurity, and chain traceability for cattle, have been adopted and implemented by VeriPrime, Inc., of Wichita, KS, at the recommendation of an independent Beef Technical Advisory Council.

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The Advisory Council is composed of leading nutritionists and veterinarians who advise VeriPrime's members on pre-harvest standards and best practices. This action will result in the availability of beef carrying the label "VeriPrime Certified Safeguards." Certification assures traceability of the product to the last ranch of ownership, and use of probiotic feed supplements to protect against the presence of E. coli in cattle. Conformance with the VeriPrime Certified Safeguards is validated by independent third-party audits.

There are currently over 3,000,000 head of cattle being fed in conformance with the newly approved VeriPrime safeguards. This represents an inventory of 7 million pounds of beef per day that is eligible to carry the VeriPrime Certified Safeguards label. The supply network will be expanded further as demand increases.

Retailers, media, and other interested parties will be invited to attend one of a series of demonstration tours of member facilities and detailed briefings on the system. The first of these will be April 30, 2008.

VeriPrime is a non-profit cooperative of producers implementing commercial initiatives to drive the documentation of marketable attributes throughout the food chain. All members of the food chain are eligible for membership, and can participate in the next generation of food safety.

At present, two supplements are approved for use in the system. They are "Bovamine," a product of the Nutrition Physiology Corporation, Guymon, OK, and Milwaukee, WI, based CHR Hansen's "Probios FS." Protocols adopted for probiotic supplements are based on those developed by the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCO), an element of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). Also at the recommendation of the Advisory Council, VeriPrime adopted BIFSCO's animal husbandry and biosecurity best practices, including its animal welfare best practices.

As the chain traceability component, the Advisory Council approved use of VeriPrime Certified Traceable. The system uses ISO Guide 22005 as its standard, with independent third-party audit by Agri Food Certification, Inc. Agri Food is a USDA accredited certifying body in conformance with ISO Guide 65 audit standards.

The Advisory Council also discussed provisional licensure of two E. coli 0157:H7 vaccines currently eligible for review by the US Department of Agriculture, and their potential addition to the prevention protocols. The issue was set aside for future consideration pending USDA conditional or full licensure of one, both, or other vaccines. The Advisory Council also discussed further animal welfare recommendations in bovine production for future consideration.

The VeriPrime Beef Technical Advisory Council meets regularly to assure the highest and most reliable industry standards support the "VeriPrime Certified Safeguard" mark. The council named Dr. Nathan McDonald, of Ness City Kansas, Chairman and Dr. Bruce Nosky, of Scottsdale, Arizona, Secretary.

ABOUT VERIPRIME

VeriPrime is a member-owned federation of cooperatives. Food, feed, and grain producers, processors, distributors and retailers can acquire membership information and application for certification on line at http://www.VeriPrime.org. Information about the VeriPrime Certified Safeguards label can be found at http://www.certifiedsafeguards.com.


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SOURCE VeriPrime Certified Safeguards
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