New Poultry Bacterial Standards Announced

WASHINGTON, May 10 (UPI) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new food safety standards Monday to reduce salmonella and Campylobacter infections in poultry.

The Department of Agriculture said the new performance standards will apply to young chickens (broilers) and turkeys, fulfilling a key recommendation of the President’s Food Safety Working Group.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service also released a compliance guide Monday to help address salmonella and Campylobacter in pre-harvest management to reduce E. coli contamination in cattle.

“There is no more important mission at USDA than ensuring the safety of our food, and we are working every day as part of the President’s Food Safety Working Group to lower the danger of foodborne illness,” Vilsack said. “The new standards … mark an important step in our efforts to protect consumers by further reducing the incidence of salmonella and opening a new front in the fight against Campylobacter.”

The USDA said the standards mark the first for Campylobacter and the first revision to the salmonella standards for chicken and turkeys.

The performance standards set a level in percentage of samples testing positive for a given pathogen an establishment must achieve.

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