USDA: Salmonella an adulterant in certain chicken products

May 11, 2023

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed that breaded stuffed raw chicken products be considered adulterated if they contain more than small amounts of Salmonella. FSIS cited estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 23% of human Salmonella infections are attributed to poultry consumption.

“Breaded stuffed raw chicken products are pre-browned and may appear cooked, but the chicken is raw,” FSIS said in a statement. In addition to possible consumer confusion about whether cooking is required, FSIS said the products “are typically cooked by consumers from a frozen state, which increases the risk of the product not reaching the internal temperature needed to destroy Salmonella.”

The National Chicken Council strongly opposed the proposal, asserting that “on an annual basis, over 200 million servings of this product will be lost, 500-1000 people will lose their jobs, and the annual cost to industry is significantly higher than USDA’s estimates.” The organization said that historically, “the mere presence of Salmonella has not rendered raw poultry adulterated.”

The proposed determination is open for comment through June 27.