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FSIS: new salmonella policies for poultry slaughter facilities

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced new policies and practices for the Agency's salmonella verification sampling programme in poultry establishments.

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Salmonella serotypes accounted for 38.6% of human food borne illnesses, making it the most common human food borne pathogen. The FSIS is taking action to advance efforts to achieve the Agency's public health goal of significantly reducing human cases of salmonellosis.
The changes, which are set to take effect as from March 28, 2008, include:
- Publication on the FSIS website of completed verification sample set results for establishments that show inconsistency to meet salmonella performance standards, beginning with those from young chicken slaughter establishments (there has been an increase in percent positive rates and serotypes of human health concern found in these products).
- A voluntary incentive-based program for poultry establishments that should yield significant data on attribution of human illness to FSIS-regulated products.
- Increasing the agency's use of targeted sampling approaches and collaborative serotype and subtype data.
Significant success in poultry sector
On Nov. 16, 2007, FSIS posted the third quarter progress report on Salmonella testing of selected raw poultry products. This report showed significant success. Of turkey slaughter establishments, 84% are now Category 1, the other 16% are in Category 2. These numbers represent significant improvement from the first quarter of 2007 where 53% of establishments were in Category 1, 38% in Category 2 and 3% in Category 3. For broilers, the percentage of establishments in Category 1 is 73% and the percentage of establishments in Category 2 is 23%. This figure is up by 10% from the first quarter of 2007. This is compared with only 35.5% of broiler establishments performing in Category 1 after the first quarter of 2006.
- Category 2 establishments - sample set results above half but not exceeding the current standard for one or both of their most recent sample sets.
- Category 3 establishments - exceeding the current standards.
- Category 1 establishments - the lowest Salmonella rates of the three categories with sample set results at or below half of the current standards.
Participating establishments must collect samples for microbial analysis on each line during each shift on every day of production. These additional samples will provide the Agency with key microbial data on attribution of human illness to FSIS-regulated products.
The FSIS is seeking comments, which need to be submitted by Feb. 27. All comments must identify FSIS and the docket number FSIS-2006-0034 and can be mailed to:
To view the full notice, click here.
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