When it comes to organic pork safety, did you know….

Did you know that organic pigs must have access to outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air, clean drinking water, and direct sunlight?

What about organic pork safety? According to a fact sheet that the United States Department of Agriculture has put out, studies have shown no significant difference between conventional and alternative or organic pig production systems regarding the frequency of occurrences of bacterial foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Yersinia enterocolitica. These pathogens often lead to contamination that then may lead to illness, posing an increased risk to consumers.

Despite these findings for bacterial pathogens, the same findings are not the case for parasites that are commonly linked to pork, particularly endoparasitic infections such as tapeworm infection and trichinosis, in organic pigs. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Because of this outdoor soil contact required of organic pig production, it seems  that this direct contact, along lack of certain medications, consequently, putting organic pork at a higher risk for pig parasites. Don’t be fooled, organic does not always mean safer!

What does this mean for consumers and other resellers of organic pork products? Fortunately, the USDA has some great information on organic pork safety. Be sure to check out the entire fact sheet that the USDA has authored about organic pork safety.

The FDA recommends that you cook whole muscle pork products to no less than 145*F or ground pork to 155*F for optimal organic pork safety and conventional as well.

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For additional reading, check out the USDA’s Organic Pig Farming Tip sheet.

April Rivas is a food safety expert and founder of ATC Food Safety.

ATC Food Safety provides manager food safety classes throughout the United State featuring the ServSafe curriculum. To register for a class in your area, visit www.atrainingcompany.com or call 877-225-5212. To find a ServSafe Manager class in Ohio, check out this link Ohio Food Safety