USDA introduces poultry Salmonella framework

October 20, 2022

The Food Safety and Inspection Service introduced a framework to reduce Salmonella in poultry products. The agency will hold a public meeting on November 3 to explain its strategy and receive public comments.

FSIS states that the strategy is needed because even though the incidence of Salmonella contamination in poultry meat has fallen, the number of illnesses has remained stable.

“Despite FSIS sampling data showing reductions in Salmonella contamination in poultry products,” FSIS writes, “our current approach to Salmonella has not led to a demonstrable reduction in Salmonella infections. For example, during the five years from 2017 to 2021, the number of chicken samples in which FSIS detected Salmonella decreased by more than 50%. However, the estimated rate of human Salmonella infections from all sources has remained consistent over the last two decades, with an estimated 1.35 million infections in the U.S. each year. The most recent report from the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration estimates that over 23% of foodborne Salmonella illnesses are attributable to poultry consumption—almost 17% from chicken and over 6% from turkey.”

According to FSIS, the agency is considering the following elements for the framework:

  • Requiring that incoming flocks be tested for Salmonellabefore entering an establishment;
  • Enhancing establishment process control monitoring and FSIS verification; and
  • Implementing an enforceable final product standard.