DAKOTA DUNES, S.D. — Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., is partnering with IdentiGEN, a DNA-based analysis and diagnostics company, to use DNA technology to trace beef back to the individual animal of origin. Tyson will use IdentiGEN’s DNA Traceback system to trace the cattle raised for Tyson’s Open Prairie Natural Angus Beef.

All cattle entering Tyson’s Open Prairie program will have a DNA sample taken that will be used to trace the origin of individual cuts of beef as they move through the supply chain, Tyson said. The DNA TraceBack process is intended to assure customers that the Open Prairie beef products they purchase are sourced from ranches where the cattle were raised to meet specific requirements, such as no antibiotics ever and no added hormones.

“We’re excited to partner with an industry leader like Tyson Fresh Meats,” said Kent Partida, vice-president of North American business development for IdentiGEN. “Our DNA TraceBack program is the most advanced meat traceability system available and uses nature’s barcode to link meat from the point of sale back to the source. It will enable retail and food service customers of Open Prairie beef to confidently share their traceability story with shoppers.”

IdentiGEN DNA Traceback

The Open Prairie brand’s product specifications — which are third-party verified — include no antibiotics, no added hormones, no artificial ingredients, 100% vegetarian diet, traceability to the birth ranch, Angus beef, U.S.D.A. Prime and Choice and rigorous animal welfare standards.

“This is about meeting growing demand for more transparency about how food is produced,” said Kent Harrison, vice-president of marketing and premium programs at Tyson Fresh Meats. “Through DNA TraceBack, we’re providing our retail and food service customers with scientific evidence that they’re getting high-quality, natural beef from animals raised the way we promised.”

IdentiGEN operates laboratories in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Europe. Its North American headquarters is in Lawrence, Kas.