The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has new guidelines to help poultry processors control Salmonella and Campylobacter.
“These guidelines take into account the latest science and practical considerations, including lessons learned from foodborne illness outbreaks in the last several years, to assist establishments in producing safer food,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “This new guide is one piece of FSIS’ Salmonella Action Plan and our effort to reduce Salmonella illnesses attributed to meat and poultry products by 25 percent in order to meet the nation’s Healthy People 2020 goals. By following the newer guidelines, poultry facilities can help us reach this important public health target.”
Salmonella and Campylobacter are major problems for poultry processors.Most Campylobacter outbreaks are caused by contaminated chicken or dairy products, according to a federal study by the Food Safety Analytics Collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). And poultry is a leading cause of poultry outbreaks.
Just a few months ago, two Salmonella outbreaks linked to frozen breaded chicken products occurred simultaneously. One linked to Chicken Kiev, Chicken and Broccoli and Chicken Cordon Bleu produced by Aspen Foods of Chicago sickened five people in Minnesota. Another linked to similar products produced by Barber Foods sickedned 15 people in seven states. And in 2013, Foster Farms chicken was linked to a 29-state Salmonella outbreak that sickened 634 people with an especially virulent strain of Salmonella Heidelberg.