Wednesday Links

Don’t have time to scour the internet for the latest food safety, animal safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Animal Science

Hair spacing keeps honeybees clean during pollination – Science Daily

With honeybee colony health wavering and researchers trying to find technological ways of pollinating plants in the future, a new Georgia Tech study has looked at how the insects do their job and manage to stay clean.

How chewing like a cow helped early mammals thrive – The Horse

Mammal teeth, jaw bones and muscles evolved to produce side-to-side motions of the jaw, or yaw, that allowed our earliest ancestors to grind food with their molars and eat a more diversified diet, suggests a new report. [ More … ]

Avian flu: What poultry producers can do

As Neogen is responding to confirmed cases of avian influenza in multiple U.S. locations, one of the most common questions we are receiving from poultry producers is: “What can we do to protect our flocks?”

Neogen poultry industry expert Lindsay Berg says that although extra vigilance may be required in some cases, for most poultry producers, protecting flocks from avian influenza consists of maintaining a strict adherence to their established biosecurity protocols. [ More … ]

Mom was wrong: Cold water OK for washing hands

Many things that come out of a typical mother’s mouth seem scientifically iffy even to a kid, such as: “Your face is going to freeze like that!”

But, typical moms do occasionally say things that seem scientifically valid even to all-grown-up kids, such as: “Use warm water to wash your hands!” Even kid brains seem to believe that the water molecules we see in video animations that get all jumpy when heated would be do a better job of washing worm guts, for example, off your hands. [ More … ]

Same as it ever was: Americans love their Labs

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recently released its rankings for the most popular dog breeds in 2016, and again declared the Labrador retriever as the most popular — for the 26th consecutive year.

Besides the fact many think they’re 80-pound lap dogs, and their happy tails can clear end tables of beverages and snacks in a nanosecond, what’s not to like about lovable Labs? [ More … ]

Head count: India is world’s cattle king

Americans home on the range in Texas or Nebraska, especially, might wonder how in the world any other country in the world could have more cattle than the United States.

Well, turns out, it’s not even that close. According to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the United States is a distant fourth in the 2017 world cattle inventory.

According to the FAS’s counting methodology, which includes water buffalo in its calculations, India is home to the world’s largest cattle inventory — more than 30% of the world’s nearly 1 billion cattle.   [ More … ]

Neogen reports 24% increase in net income

Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that its net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2017, which ended Feb. 28, increased 24% to $10,287,000, when compared to the prior year’s $8,311,000. Earnings per share in the current quarter were $0.27, compared to $0.22 a year ago. Current year-to-date net income increased 17% over prior year to $31,320,000, or $0.82 per share, compared to $26,707,000, or $0.71 per share, for the same period a year ago.

Revenues for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 increased 15% to $88,385,000, from the previous year’s third quarter revenues of $76,725,000. The quarterly revenue and net income results represent third quarter records for the 34-year-old company. Year to date fiscal 2017 revenues increased 14% to $262,747,000 from fiscal 2016’s $231,196,000.   [ More … ]

Preventing the spread of swine influenza

With the current news topics of emerging strains of swine1 and avian influenza2 spreading throughout North America, it is important to review the influenza virus, what it can do if it enters your farm, and how you can prevent it from spreading.

What is influenza?

The commonly known influenza virus (H1N1) was first identified and largely stayed unchanged for over 80 years.3 However, in 1998, researchers identified a new strain of influenza virus (H3N2) that developed from multiple species, including humans and birds that could infect pigs.3 Since the immune system could not recognize the new proteins, the new strain was able to enter the herd population undetected. [ More … ]

Science: How ATP sanitation verification systems work

In old-timey terms, today’s modern sanitation verification systems are lickety-split.

But how exactly can a test system instantly produce accurate results showing just how clean or dirty a surface may be?

The science behind the instantly accurate systems stems from the study of fireflies and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — a molecule that exists in every living cell. [ More … ]

Is your pet overweight?

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty of letting those pleading, puppy-dog eyes get the better of us and sneaking a second or third treat to the dog or cat. They’ve already finished the bowl of dried food that looks cruel and unappetizing, so you let them lick up the scraps of chicken from your dinner plate. As difficult as it is to resist handing out these extra treats to our pets, restraint may be more important than it seems.

“Just as obesity has become a serious problem in people, it’s also a growing problem in pets, one that can seriously harm your pet’s health,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CVM is responsible for ensuring that food for animals — including animal feed, pet food, and pet treats — is labeled properly and safe for both animal consumption and the people who handle the food. [ More … ]

Your nasty, disgusting, no good kitchen sponge

Your no good kitchen spongeHave you made a few extremely unpleasant trips to the bathroom recently, all the while doing something like cursing your weird Uncle Dan’s ill-advised first attempt at steak tartare?

Well, it’s probably never a good idea to trust a weird uncle’s first attempt at a raw meat recipe, but there is something in most of our kitchens that is likely just as bad: your kitchen sponge. [ More … ]