WASHINGTON – FSIS Notice 31-11: New Performance Standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in Chilled Carcasses at Young Chicken and Turkey Slaughter Establishments has been issued by the Food Safety and Inspection Service. The new standards apply to verification sample sets that begin on or after July 1, according to the American Meat Institute.

Although the number of samples collected for young chicken and turkey verification sets will remain the same, each sample collected in a set will now be analyzed for both Salmonella and Campylobacter.

If FSIS finds no more than five positive samples in a 51-sample set for young chickens and no more than four positive samples in a 56-sample set for turkeys, establishments will pass the updated Salmonella standards. Establishments will pass the new Campylobacter standards if FSIS finds no more than eight positive samples in a 51-sample set for young chickens and no more than three positive samples in a 56-sample set for turkeys.

However, if FSIS finds more than the acceptable number of samples positive for passing either of the standards at an establishment, FSIS will collect a follow-up sample set and will analyze those samples for both organisms. To implement the new standards for Campylobacter, FSIS will move all young chicken and turkey slaughter establishments to the highest priority for scheduling sample sets.

This notice also:

• Details changed sample collection procedures for young chickens and
turkeys under the new performance standards and includes complete sampling instructions.
• Details changes in FSIS performance standards and notes that the End of Set Letter provided by FSIS to establishments upon completion of a verification sample set will now include a report of Campylobacter results.
• Provides an Appendix I with pictures of the test kits.
• Provides an Appendix II with anticipated questions and answers.

In May 2010, FSIS announced its intention to set new performance standards for Salmonella and Campylobacter in young chicken and turkey chilled carcasses in a Federal Register notice. In a follow-up Federal Register notice in March 2011, FSIS announced implementation of the new standards for July 2011. These new performance standards were informed by data collected during FSIS’ recent Nationwide Microbiological Baseline Data Collection Programs: The Young Chicken Baseline Survey (YCBS) of 2007-2008, and the Young Turkey Baseline Survey (YTBS) of 2008-2009.

To read this notice, visit: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISNotices/31-11.pdf.