Beef Quality Assurance Program Discussed at FDA Staff College
The Beef Quality Assurance program is an industry-initiated national standard for beef cattle production practices. This week, BQA representatives were invited to the Food and Drug Administration’s staff college to discuss long history of success of the program, building consumer confidence through producer education.
Established in 1987 by the Beef Checkoff, BQA principles are based on good management practices that are designed to meet the consumer demand as well the U.S. food production system's needs.
“Cattlemen and women take great pride in caring for their stock while producing a wholesome and safe product,” said Josh White, executive director of producer education for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “As the industry continues to evolve, it’s important that our federal agencies have strong understanding of the beef industry and are connected with the producers back home. This was great opportunity to educate staff at FDA and showcase industry efforts for continuous improvement. ”
Through a network of state organizations, the BQA program is voluntary and locally led, linking beef producers with livestock production specialists, veterinarians, nutritionists, marketers and food purveyors interested in maintaining and improving the quality of cattle and the beef they produce.
“It is the responsibility of industry to proactively come together and develop guidelines that consumers trust,” said White. “Designed by cattlemen, this program has moved well beyond injection site practices to incorporate a number of topics ranging from animal handling and record keeping to cull management and carcass quality.”
To find out more about BQA and how to become certified, visit bqa.org.