USDA Announces Action to Declare Salmonella as an Adulterant in Raw Stuffed and Breaded Chicken Products

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WASHINGTON, August 1, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announces that it will declare Salmonella an adulterant in raw breaded and stuffed chicken products.

“Food safety is at the heart of everything FSIS does,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This mission will guide us as this important first step launches a broader initiative to reduce Salmonella diseases associated with poultry in the United States »

“Today’s announcement is an important moment for food safety in the United States, as we declare Salmonella an adulterant in a raw poultry product,” said Sandra Eskin, USDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Food Safety. “This is just the beginning of our efforts to improve public health.”

by declaring Salmonella an adulterant in these products, FSIS will be able to ensure that highly contaminated products that could make people sick are not sold to consumers. Since 1998, raw breaded and stuffed chicken products have been linked to up to 14 outbreaks and approximately 200 illnesses. Products in this category can be found in the freezer section and include some Chicken Cordon Bleu or Chicken kyiv products. These products appear cooked, but are only heat treated to set the batter or breading and the product contains raw poultry. Ongoing efforts to improve product labeling have not been effective in reducing consumer illness.

Raw breaded and stuffed chicken products will be considered adulterated when they exceed a very low level of Salmonella contamination and would be subject to regulatory action. FSIS will propose to set the limit at 1 colony forming unit (CFU) of Salmonella per gram for these products, a level that the agency says will significantly reduce the risk of illness from consuming these products. The agency will also seek comments on whether a different standard for adulteration — such as zero tolerance or a standard based on specific serotypes — would be more appropriate.

The notice is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the fall, and FSIS will seek public comment on what the standard should be as well as to inform a final implementation plan, including a verification testing program. Once published, the notice will be posted in the FSIS Federal Register and Rulemaking page for review and comments. When the proposal is finalized, FSIS will announce its final implementation plans and the date it will begin routine testing for Salmonella in these products.

This action is part of FSIS’s broader efforts to reduce Salmonella diseases associated with poultry. In October 2021, the USDA announced that it was reassessing its control strategy Salmonella in poultry, including if Salmonella should be considered an adulterant in certain raw poultry products. Since launching this effort, the USDA has focused on gathering information by meeting with stakeholders to hear their ideas, asking food safety experts for recommendations, and soliciting ideas for pilot projects from the industry. industry to test different control strategies in poultry establishments. The USDA plans to present a proposed framework for a new comprehensive strategy to reduce Salmonella poultry-related diseases in October and call a public meeting to discuss them in November.

The USDA touches the lives of all Americans every day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming the US food system with greater emphasis on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe food, healthy and nutritious in all communities, creating new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in clean energy infrastructure and capacity in the Rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and creating a workforce that is more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

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