Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark., implemented a Poultry Handling and Transportation (PHT) certification to help ensure the proper handling and transportation of birds in its chicken business. As a result, Tyson Foods is said to be the first major chicken producer to implement this third-party certification program offered by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY), Tucker, Ga.

The PHT certification focuses on biosecurity, disease recognition, emergency planning and the safe and humane handling of birds before, during and after transport. 

The PHT certification program was developed by scientists at Penn State University, State College, Pa.; the USDA and industry specialists, and is managed by USPOULTRY. More than 1,000 Tyson Foods poultry and transportation workers have received individual PHT certification over the past year.

“Ensuring the safety and welfare of our people and animals is paramount at Tyson Foods,” says Karen Christensen, senior director of animal welfare for Tyson Foods. “By working with USPOULTRY to achieve certification across our organization, we are doubling down on our commitment to continuous improvement in animal welfare. We’re proud of this certification and continue to evolve best practices in every aspect of animal welfare.”

“Tyson Foods’ commitment to this certification process demonstrates a pivotal moment in the industry, and we’re excited about the progress we’ve made together,” says Rafael Rivera, manager, food safety and production programs, USPOULTRY. “Every training gives us a new opportunity to improve our practices, and we look forward to continuing to drive progress in animal well-being.”