WASHINGTON – Salmonella prevalence on raw young chicken declined 34 percent between the first quarter and second quarter of 2013, the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service reported.

FSIS tested 2,955 samples of young chicken, and found that 2.6 percent tested positive for Salmonella, according to the agency's "Quarterly Progress Reports on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products". The samples also were tested for Campylobacter, and 5.7 percent of those samples tested positive which was unchanged from the previous quarter. However, it represented a decline of almost 50 percent since FSIS began testing for Campylobacter on raw young chicken in 2011.

FSIS also reported that the number of establishments performing better than half the performance standard (Category 1) for Salmonella climbed to 70.1 percent in the second quarter from 67.6 percent in the first quarter.

"Overall, the results presented in this quarterly report indicate that we continue to make improvements in the incidence rate of Salmonella and Campylobacter on young chicken carcasses," said Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., National Chicken Council vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.