Food Safety for Meat Goat Producers

Clear Creek Farms is proud to have been selected to participate in the USDA/Alabama A&M Food Safety Program.

Alabama A&M, in association with Tuskegee University and Tennessee State University, embarked on a program sponsored by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service to educate the goat meat producers in the safe handling of cabrito from the farm to the table.

 
 

The animal production phase of food safety practices include animal and premise identification; management and health records; proper documented use of antibiotics, biologics, and pesticides; and feed and water quality and safety.

Food safety practices include good sanitation, animal waste management, biosecurity (both internal and external), and a quality assurance program. Several areas of concern for risk management include bacteria, toxins, parasites, and viruses. We strive, in cooperation with our veterinarian, to follow all applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning agricultural practices.

The quality assurance program is a voluntary use of good production practices following industry created guidelines. We promote animal health and food safety; ensure proper drug and antibiotic use; and provide records to assure purchasers of good production practices. Using a computerized program created for this purpose, we record every instance of medication. On each animal's page, we input data, to include date of medication, for all shots (and the dose), worming (which wormer and the amount used), or other medication administered. We use a medical worksheet for capturing this data prior to input.

As goat producers concerned for the longevity of the goat industry, we would like to relate the benefits we have received as a result of this program. We are a husband-wife team and have been in the goat business for almost five years. As goat producers it has been difficult to find resources and technical assistance. We consider this program, and the technical assistance the program provides resources of information and a marketing tool. A direct result of participating in this program is additional buyers of our goats.

The printed materials provided by the program, and the working relationship we enjoy with the Alabama A&M Food Safety Coordinator, Mr. Robert Spencer, provided us with confidence to follow recommended practices regarding food safety and quality assurance. Such knowledge allows us to feel comfortable knowing we are providing a product that is safe whether we direct market our goats locally or sell them at a local livestock auction where they may end up in the Northeast part of the United States where substantial quantities of goat meat are consumed.

We greatly appreciate the Food Safety Education Program for Goat Producers, the information the program provides, and the working relationship we have enjoyed. We look forward to working with Alabama A&M for years to come.  

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Ken and Pat Motes
Clear Creek Farms
33 South Clear Creek Road
Fall River, Tennessee 38468
Phone: (931) 852-2167
Fax: (931) 852-2168


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