The Three Pillars of Quality Standards for Certified Bison
ANIMAL DISTINCTIONWhile the term bison and buffalo are commonly interchanged, they can reference different animal types. Bison are North American grown animals, with the genetic term bison. All Certified bison are verified by unique physical characteristics, and verified in shipping and receiving documents.
Ranching and Animal Welfare StandardsBison quality begins on the ranch. All Certified Bison ranches maintain regenerative agriculture practices and meet strict, globally recognized animal welfare standards. Specifics include:
• Certified Bison must meet established national animal welfare standards as outlined in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) Method of Livestock Act. In addition, Certified Bison ranchers recognize and adopt the practices outlined in the2017 Canadian Bison Association Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Bison.
• Animal stress has long been found to affect meat quality. Certified Bison animals endure limited human interaction, to ensure a generally “happy” animal.
• Feed is critical to the quality of the final product. product. Certified Bison are allowed to roam and enjoy a “free choice”-feeding feeding program to ensure the entire herd is well nourished. Certified Bison must follow a strict feed protocol, that starts with quality forages and the free choice feed.
• The Never Ever Promise – bison are not treated treated with antibiotics, or hormones of any kind, ensuring a clean, quality product with the sweet robust taste of pure bison. Sick animals treated with antibiotics for animal welfare purposes are removed from the Certified Bison program.
PROCESSING STANDARDSProcessing and safety measures are the crux of the research that defines Certified Bison. This research emphasizes that standards developed in the beef industry be adopted by the bison industry. Food Food safety is paramount to the Certified Bison commitment to quality. Key elements to Processing Standards include:
• Adhere to Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) food safety and animal welfare standards.
• USDA or CFIA certifications
• Global Food Safety Initiative Certified
• N60+ E.coli testing method with a test and hold
• Carcass chilled exclusively by air
• Processing integration with no cold chain break
HOW DO I BECOME CERTIFIED?