FSIS is aiming to reduce the presence of Salmonella in raw meat and poultry products. The initiative will include concentrating resources at establishments with higher levels of Salmonella and changes to the reporting and utilization of FSIS Salmonella verification test results.

The effort is patterned after the highly successful FSIS initiative to reduce the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef. The FSIS E. coli O157:H7 initiative led to a 40 percent reduction in human illnesses associated with the pathogen, according to the CDC.

Since 2002, FSIS has seen an increase in Salmonella positive samples in broilers. Although the overall percentage of positive samples in verification testing of broilers is still below national baseline prevalence figures, the recent upward trend is of concern to the Agency.

According to the strategy, FSIS will now provide the results of its Salmonella performance standard testing to establishments as soon as they become available on a sample-by-sample basis. This will enable establishments to more readily identify and respond to needed process control in the slaughter-dressing operation. Receiving individual sample results soon after the samples are taken will help establishments in their assessment of whether their slaughter dressing procedures are adequate for pathogen reduction.