FSIS releases guide to pathogen reduction

by Erica Shaffer
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Rates of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella have remained flat.

WASHINGTON – Updated guidance is available to help poultry processors reduce campylobacter and Salmonella hazards in raw poultry products, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture reported.

The new guidance is science based and provides suggestions for interventions that companies can take on the farm. The guide also features advice regarding sanitary dressing procedures, further processing practices, antimicrobial interventions and other management practices, according to FSIS.

“These guidelines take into account the latest science and practical considerations, including lessons learned from foodborne illness outbreaks in the last several years to assist establishments in producing safer food,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza. “This new guide is one piece of FSIS’ Salmonella Action Plan and our effort to reduce Salmonella illnesses attributed to meat and poultry products by 25 percent in order to meet the nation’s Healthy People 2020 goals. By following the newer guidelines, poultry facilities can help us reach this important public health target.”

FSIS noted the guidelines are especially relevant given recent outbreaks of Salmonella linked to poultry products. Additionally, rates of foodborne illnesses caused by Salmonella have remained flat, while rates of foodborne illnesses have fallen overall.

FSIS is seeking comment on the guidelines. The agency will accept comments 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The guidelines are available for download at: www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/compliance-guides-index.

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