The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has announced a comprehensive initiative to reduce salmonella in raw meat and poultry products.
The initiative will include concentrating resources at facilities with higher levels of salmonella and change the reporting and utilization of FSIS’s salmonella verification test results. The effort is patterned after the FSIS initiative to reduce the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef, which led to a 40 percent reduction in human illnesses associated with the pathogen, according to the CDC.
According to the new strategy, FSIS will now provide results of its salmonella performance standard testing to establishments as soon as they become available on a sample-by-sample basis. In addition, the agency will plan to have the serotype of salmonella found in positive samples determined more quickly in order to notify the establishment and monitor and investigate illness outbreaks. These results also could provide useful information about trends in salmonella serotypes to prevent outbreaks.
FSIS will also begin quarterly posting on its Web site of the nationwide aggregate results of all sample results to give consumers more complete and timely information about salmonella trends.