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Continuing education needs assessment for on-farm food safety services

Dale A. Moore DVM, MPVM, PhD, DACVPM1, William M. Sischo DVM, MPVM, PhD2, and Dennis J. Wilson DVM, MPVM, PhD3
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  • 1 Veterinary Medical Teaching and Resource Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Tulare, CA 93274
  • | 2 Veterinary Medical Teaching and Resource Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Tulare, CA 93274
  • | 3 California Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health and Food Safety Services, 1220 N St, Room A-107, Sacramento, CA 95814

Abstract

Objective—To identify the perceived market or client demand for dairy on-farm food safety services by veterinarians, the need for a food safety continuing education program, and the educational issues that might be addressed in an on-farm food safety curriculum.

Design—Survey.

Study Population—Consulting dairy veterinarians, government veterinarians located in California, and meat packers slaughtering cull dairy cows in California.

Procedure—Results of a questionnaire supplied to veterinarians and telephone interviews with meat packer representatives were analyzed by use of univariate and multivariate logistic regression procedures.

Results—Some meat packers considered the quality of incoming cull dairy cattle as a control point for food safety hazards. More than 50% of dairy and government- employed veterinarians believed that a current market for on-farm food safety services exists; > 85% believed that a potential market exists. Duration since graduation was negatively correlated with belief in a current market. Government-employed veterinarians were more likely to believe in a current market. Veterinarians were more likely to express a strong interest in offering on-farm food safety services if they believed a current market exists, indicated that they already offer such services, or listed residues and pathogens as the most important issues facing the dairy industry.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although a potential market for on-farm food safety services is perceived, veterinarians are unsure of their role in this area. New demands of meat packers slaughtering cull dairy cows may be the motivation practitioners need to broach the subject of food safety with clients. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:479–484)