WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration has adopted risk-based criteria in its Compliance Policy Guide for animal food contaminated withSalmonella.

The agency's revised guidance recommends that regulatory action be taken when animal feed contaminated with
Salmonellaserotypes that are known to cause disease in the animal species eating the feed. FDA said different animal species develop disease in response to differentSalmonellaserotypes. There are more than 2,500 differentSalmonellaserotypes.

Following the new compliance policy, the agency revoked its advisory opinion from 1967 which established a zero-tolerance policy ofSalmonellain food for animals. Under that policy, noSalmonellawas allowed in animal food, even if the serotype didn’t make the animals sick.

"FDA considers an animal feed to be adulterated...when it is contaminated with aSalmonellaserotype that is considered pathogenic to the animal intended to consume the feed and the animal feed will not subsequently undergo a commercial heat step or other commercial process that will kill theSalmonella," the Compliance Guide states. The guide recommends evaluating cases of contamination with otherSalmonellaserotypes on a case-by-case basis.

The agency said in its guidance that the likelihood of direct human contact with animal feed is "substantially lower" compared to pet foods. In the case of pet food, FDA believes regulatory action is warranted involving pet foods contaminated with anySalmonellaserotype given the likelihood of direct human contact with pet food.