Making Your Bacon Better

Scott Kramer looking at a pig

Bacon lovers everywhere, Dr. Scott Allen Kramer is your hero.  A recent graduate of the Online Master of Science in Food Safety at MSU, Dr. Kramer is also a swine veterinarian at HyLife Ltd., La Broquerie, MB Canada.

In addition to his role as a swine veterinarian working to maintain and improve herd health and welfare, he is a validator for the Canadian Pork Quality Assurance (CQA) program through which he assures consumers that the Canadian hog farmers, who are dedicated to the highest quality criteria, demonstrate their compliance with national standards for food safety and animal care. Furthermore, as a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) accredited veterinarian, Dr. Kramer is responsible for assuring the health of pigs exported to the United States.

Scott began the MSFS program in May 2014 and graduated in the Fall of 2016. He learned about the program when attending veterinary school at MSU and volunteering his “spare time” working on a research project examining Salmonella in swine herds with former program MSFS director Dr. Julie Funk and Dr. Martha Mulks. Considering his career goals as a swine veterinarian Scott said, “I wanted to focus my applied research project on an aspect of pork safety.  My project concentrated on the emerging zoonotic pathogen Streptococcus suis in pigs. The title of my project was: Detection of Streptococcus suis in Neonatal Piglets.

“Being able to apply my new knowledge to my current career as a swine veterinarian mostly at the pre-harvest level has been beneficial,” said Scott. “The curriculum not only focused on the topics which I would expect in a food safety degree but also presented interesting topics and discussions in areas which I may have not expected or had any prior exposure to before the particular class and, as a consequence,…I have obtained a better understanding of food safety beyond my very focused interests,” he continued.

Scott says his future goals are “to continue to work as a swine veterinarian working to recognize my full potential as it relates to swine health and pork safety.” He also worked with Veterinarians Without Borders (VWB) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Kampala, UGANDA  as a team member creating both a manual and teaching the associated practical course entitled: A Training Course for Small Holder Pork Producers and Butchers to Enhance Hygiene, Carcass Handling, & Biosecurity Practices. The project also dove-tailed with an associated project to create informational fact sheets on recognizing African swine fever, improving biosecurity and maintaining pig health at the level of the producer/trader/butcher.

HyLife is a progressive company which maintains high standards set to a background of much respected core values.  HyLife’s commitment to consumers and safe pork is best demonstrated in the fact that since January 2011 the company is completely needle-free.  Every kind of compound from iron to vitamins to antibiotics to vaccinations are administered using a needle-free injection system.

“The curriculum not only focused on the topics which I would expect in a food safety degree but also presented interesting topics and discussions in areas which I may have not expected or had any prior exposure to before the particular class and, as a consequence,…I have obtained a better understanding of food safety beyond my very focused interests.”

– Scott Kramer
  
  • Swine Veterinarian
  • USDA-FSIS