The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced new pathogen reduction performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products, plus raw chicken breasts, legs and wings.
Performance standards for whole chickens have been in place since 1996, but the new standards are intended to address the issue of contamination of chicken parts and ground poultry meat during processing. Regulatory testing for the new standards will therefore take place much closer to the finished product.
The new performance standards have been designed to achieve at least a 30% reduction in illnesses caused by Salmonella in poultry products and a 32% reduction in illnesses caused by Campylobacter. It is estimated that this will translate into around 50,000 prevented illnesses each year.
The performance of individual poultry processors will be measured against the standards by routine testing throughout the year and the results will be published online by FSIS after a full year of testing has been completed.
More information about the new standards can be found here.