Researchers Aim to Reduce Pathogen Loads on Raw Poultry
From Food Safety Magazine
Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. are major human pathogens associated with poultry products, which are attributed to more foodborne deaths than any other food product. Annual estimates attribute human salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis to approximately one million episodes of foodborne illness each year in the United States. Both Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. are commensal residents of the poultry gastrointestinal tract and the primary processing of such livestock can contribute to their spread.
To combat this issue, the United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) implemented stringent Campylobacter performance standards and updated pre-existing Salmonella performance standards. The compliance to such standards is projected to result in the reduction of more than 5,000 Campylobacter infections in the United States each year alone.
Previous performance standards for broilers focused solely on controlling Salmonella, requiring the prevalence of Salmonella-positive samples to be less than 20% (12 positive samples out of 51 samples). New performance standards require the prevalence of Salmonella-positive samples to be below 7.5% (five positive samples out of 51 samples). Likewise, in the new regulations, Campylobacter-positive samples should be less than 10.4% (eight positive samples out of 51 samples).