BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Poultry suppliers to Walmart and Sam's Club stores have new guidance on poultry safety from the company.

Walmart released enhanced poultry safety measures that require poultry suppliers to achieve prevention-based certification by one of the Global Food Safety Initiative's recognized standards. Walmart said poultry suppliers must implement "holistic controls" from farm to fork; the controls must significantly reduce potential contamination levels, including chicken parts. Suppliers must also undergo specialized testing to validate the effectiveness of the measures suppliers have implemented. All poultry suppliers must be in compliance by June 2016.

“At Walmart and Sam’s Club, we are committed to providing our customers with safe, quality foods,” said Frank Yiannas, vice president for food safety. “As part of our continuous improvement process, we determined it was important to require additional layers of protection for our customers.”

Walmart said numerous stakeholders including consumer groups, regulators, academicians, poultry suppliers and industry associations reviewed the new protocols. Additionally, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with Walmart on the initiative to advance food safety and decrease foodborne illnesses among consumers.