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USDA urged to prohibit antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in Poultry

Ground meat and poultry found to contain antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella should be recalled from the marketplace or withheld from commerce, according to a regulatory petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Ground meat and poultry found to contain antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella should be recalled from the marketplace or withheld from commerce, according to a regulatory petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The nonprofit food safety watchdog group wants the US Department of Agriculture to declare four such Salmonella strains as “adulterants” under federal law, making products that contain them illegal to sell.

Foodborne illnesses
CSPI is also urging testing for antibiotic-resistant Salmonella in ground meat and poultry, citing a number of major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses linked to the four strains. Those illnesses are harder for physicians to treat, resulting in longer hospitalizations and increased mortality, according to the group.

USDA already recalls products contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella—but only after those products have made people sick, according to CSPI. The group’s petition asks the agency to establish a testing regime for these pathogens in ground meat and poultry in the same way that it has for E. coli O157:H7. USDA declared that particularly dangerous strain of E. coli an adulterant in 1994.

Salmonella strains
The four Salmonella strains covered by the petition, Salmonella Heidelberg, Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hadar, and Salmonella Typhimurium, have all been linked to outbreaks.

CSPI claims that the antibiotic resistance is an inevitable consequence of antibiotic overuse, stating that most antibiotics used on animal farms are not used to treat disease, but to promote growth or to prevent diseases caused by overcrowding, poor hygiene, and other problems.

The CSPI is also one of the organisations suing the FDA as reported here: FDA sued over antibiotics in poultry feed 

Related website
Center for Science in the Public Interest
USDA

Editor WorldPoultry

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