Revised in 2013, Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA Plus®) provides a framework for significant, relevant food safety standards and improved animal well-being. Pork producers pride themselves on the commitment to continuous improvement. PQA Plus is regularly revised to increase its effectiveness, incorporate new research information, and ensure the program’s validity.
Maintaining its food safety tradition to ensure U.S. pork products continue to be recognized domestically and internationally as the highest quality and safest available, PQA Plus also provides information to ensure producers can measure, track and continuously improve animal well-being. 2013 PQA Plus revisions:
- Online Recertification: PQA Plus recertification will be available online if the producer has current certification. Initial certification under the revised program will require face-to-face training.
- We Care Initiative: As revised, PQA Plus aligns more closely with We Care℠ Ethical Principles.
- Testing: participants will now be required to pass a test by missing no more than three of the 25 questions.
- Site Assessment: When the site assessment is completed, participating farms must submit a corrective action plan for all non-compliant findings then follow-up with a PQA Plus Advisor to receive site status.
- Trainers/Advisors Certifications: During face-to-face training of Trainers and Advisors, more extensive instructions and information will be shared.
- Implementation: All revisions to PQA Plus will be effective June 7, 2013.
Transport Quality Assurance ® (TQASM) is a program that helps swine transporters, producers and handlers understand how to handle, move and transport pigs and the potential impacts of those actions on pig well-being and/or pork quality. Anyone who handles or transports pigs, or sets protocols for handling pigs, is a potential influencer of animal well-being and pork quality.
There are two types of individuals certified through the TQA Program: A handler is an individual who receives TQA certification to move, handle and transport pigs. An advisor is an individual who is trained by the Pork Checkoff and who can offer certification training and administer exams to handlers.
Individuals interested in receiving TQA certification to become handlers can find a TQA advisor by clicking here.
Meat Animal Quality Assurance program (MAQA) is the certified program taught in Wisconsin to youth enrolled in the sheep, swine and beef projects. The MAQA is required for swine exhibitors at the Wisconsin State Fair. This certification meets the PQA (Pork Quality Assurance) Requirement. Check with your local extension office on the Quality Assurance requirements for your county fair and or other shows you might exhibit at.
UW Extension Website: http://www.uwex.edu/ces/animalscience/youthlivestock/quality.cfm