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Study Reveals Poor Storage Conditions for Health Products

21 May 2013, at 8:20am

US - In a case study involving beef producers in Idaho, researchers found less-than-ideal refrigeration conditions for animal health products at retailers and on-farm.

Idaho beef producers and animal health product retailers participated in a study to gather data on the handling and management of animal health products.

In the study, published in the latest issue of the journal, Professional Animal Scientist, by B. Glaze of the University of Idaho and others, data loggers were placed in 176 refrigerators (129 belonging to producers and 47 with retailers), recording temperatures in 10-minute intervals for a minimum of 48 hours.

The approximate age, type and location of the producers' refrigerators were recorded, along with where the products were stored in the refrigerator. An inventory of each producers' refrigerator was taken, with expired and opened products recorded.

Almost one-third (31 per cent) of the producers' refrigerators maintained the recommended temperature range of 2 to 7°C for more than 95 per cent of the time and one-third (33.3 per cent) of the producers' refrigerators maintained the recommended temperature range less than five per cent of the time.

Thirty-four per cent of the retailers' refrigerators were within the recommended temperature range for more than 95 per cent of the time and 17.0 per cent were in the range less than five per cent of the time.

In addition to temperature readings and refrigerator characteristics being documented, surveys of producers and retailers were also conducted. The producer surveys showed 93.8 per cent of producers used the neck area of beef cattle for injections, 87.6 per cent mixed modified-live vaccines as needed and protected them from sunlight, whereas 93.8 per cent kept vaccines in a cooler.

The retailer surveys showed 44.0 per cent had thermometers to monitor refrigerator temperatures, and 41.0 per cent did not monitor their refrigerators. Sixty per cent of retailers trained their employees to handle animal health products and 67.0 per cent trained their employees to answer questions about animal health products.


Fife T.E., J.B. Glaze Jr., K.S. Jensen, N. Rimbey, S.L. Kane, S.D. Baker, J. Church, S.J. Ette, D. Gunn, G. Keetch, S. Nash, S. Williams and R.L. Ruiz. 2013. Case Study: Handling and management of animal health products by Idaho producers and retailers. Professional Animal Scientist 29(3):313-320.

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