“One is too many” campaign marks more than a decade since establishment

This month, a campaign to prevent broken needles in pork and pork products turns 12 years old.

“One is too many” was created by the National Pork Producers Council to raise awareness of preventing broken veterinary needles in pork products, according to National Hog Farmer. Needles may become broken during the administration of routine vaccinations and other medications.

Although finding a broken needle in ready-to-sell products is rare, even one occurrence can have serious consequences. There are several steps officials throughout the pork processing chain can take to prevent broken needles and to detect them.

  • Use detectable needles. Detectable needles are manufactured with an alloy that is detectable in metal detectors used to screen meat. Neogen’s D3 Detectable Needles are as much as six times stronger than conventional needles and stay sharper longer, reducing the risk of breakage.
  • Ensure proper injection techniques are used. For example, if a needle is bent, do not straighten it out and reuse it. The bend creates a weakness in the needle that could lead to breakage, according to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).
  • Avoid injecting pigs that are in motion. Check needles and syringes for damage after every single injection, according to OMAFRA.
  • Ensure the proper needle size and gauge is used. The size and gauge should be based on where the injection is given, the age of the pig and the type of medication being administered, according to National Hog Farmer.
  • If a needle does break, ensure the pig is identified. If possible, remove the needle or contact a veterinarian to do so. Only those who have received proper training should inject pigs, according to OMAFRA.

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