The new version of Pork Quality Assurance® Plus (PQA), Version 4.0, will be released June 5, 2019. Producers preparing to recertify their site status will want to review their previous site assessments and take note of a few minor changes that were made to the new assessment form. Table 1 outlines these changes.
|Update/Change||Version 4.0 Question Wording||Version 3.0 Question Wording|
|Combined two questions; clarifying that SOP needs to be written.||Q10. Does the site have a written biosecurity SOP that contains information covering barn sanitation, rodent control, worker & visitor entry policies, and general farm security measures?||Q10. Does the site have a biosecurity SOP? Q11. Does the site have an SOP for rodent control?|
|Changed from periodical testing to twice per year.||Q14. Is there a written record of emergency backup equipment being tested at least twice per year? NA if the site is outdoors or non-mechanically ventilated.||Q.15 Is there a written record of emergency backup equipment being periodically tested? NA if the site is outdoors or naturally ventilated.|
|New question.||Q28. If observed on the site, is specialized labor able to articulate or demonstrate the training they received specific to their duties? N.O. if not observed during the assessment.||Not a question|
|New question.||Q34. Does the site have 12 months of records demonstrating routine maintenance of euthanasia equipment?||Not a question|
|Combined two questions.||Q35. Does the site have a written euthanasia plan that is consistent with the current AASV guidelines and is accessible to all caretakers in the facility?||Q33. Does the site have a written euthanasia plan that is consistent with the current AASV guidelines? Q34. Is the written euthanasia plan readily accessible to all caretakers in the facility?|
|Site address should be posted with emergency contact numbers.||Q36. Does the site have a written emergency action plan and are emergency contact and site address numbers posted?||Q35. Does the site have a written emergency action plan and are emergency contact numbers posted?|
|New question.||Q46. If euthanasia is observed, are caretakers following the site’s SOP for euthanasia? N.O. if euthanasia is not observed during the assessment.||Not a question|
|Minor wording change.||Q63. Do 1% or less of the pigs observed have open wounds?||Q62. Do 1% or less of the pigs observed have deep wounds?|
These changes are not drastic updates to the assessment criteria. Though preparing for your next site assessment does take a little time. Remember to finish any corrective action plans from previous assessments. Review required records and standard operating procedures (SOPs) and update them as needed. Test emergency and euthanasia equipment and provide maintenance accordingly. Make sure all posted emergency information is current and accessible to employees. Complete internal site assessments to meet the semi-annual (non-breeding sites) or quarterly (breeding sites) requirement. Finally, train or retrain employees in their daily tasks along with reviewing farm SOPs and the zero-tolerance policy with everyone.
The PQA program is about continuous improvement of animal care to insure food safety and animal welfare. When producers work with their veterinarian and PQA Advisor to achieve successful implementation of good production practices we all do our part to provide consumers with confidence in the pork supply.