WASHINGTON – Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) have issued a statement on the USDA’s finalization of new federal standards to reduce Salmonella in ground chicken and turkey products, as well as raw chicken breasts, legs, and wings.

Both are critical of the USDA standards since they do not declare Salmonella as an adulterant.

“While the new federal standards announced by the USDA are progress in fighting foodborne illnesses, implementing these standards alone is not enough to keep American consumers safe,” Congresswoman DeLauro said in the statement. “The USA should immediately declare Salmonella as an adulterant as part of their work to protect consumers and reduce public health threats.”  

Rep. Rosa DeLauro
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

“The facts are clear: Salmonella and Campylobacter continue to have a significant human and economic cost on Americans every year. We can effectively respond and prevent these outbreaks, but the USDA must do more. American consumers deserve it.”

Last year, DeLauro and Slaughter reintroduced the Pathogen Reduction and Testing Reform Act, which would strengthen the ability for the USDA to keep Americans safe from contaminated meat, poultry, and eggs. Currently, the USDA will only issue a recall if a meat, poultry, or egg product is considered “adulterated,” leaving much room for interpretation under the current law.

“The USDA may have updated their rules, but the public’s health is still at risk. Under the new finalized rule, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service will allow potential disease in poultry products that risk the health of the American people,” Congresswoman Slaughter said.

Rep. Louise Slaughter
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

There are at least 360,000 illnesses every year attributed to regulated products Salmonella outbreaks linked to chicken products have been happing throughout the country the last few years including recalls for Barber Foods, Aspen Foods and Foster Farms.