|Food Safety and Inspection
United States Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250-3700
December 15, 1997
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is providing its views on release of Salmonella testing data collected by FSIS in connection with the HACCP/Pathogen Reduction final rule.
With the publication of its HACCP/Pathogen Reduction final rule, FSIS adopted pathogen reduction performance standards for raw meat and poultry products using Salmonella as the target organism. To verify that this requirement is being met, FSIS will conduct Salmonella testing in establishments that product raw meat and poultry products.
The goal of the Salmonella testing program is to verify that pathogen reduction performance standards are being met by each establishment, with an ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of that organism and other enteric pathogens on raw meat ant poultry products nationwide. The pathogen reduction standard for Salmonella requires testing of products not to determine product disposition but as a measure of process effectiveness in limiting contamination with this pathogen. Individual test results are not meaningful under this program because the performance standards have been established to measure performance over time; thus, multiple samples are required to make an appropriate compliance determination.
The Salmonella testing program is being accomplishes by FSIS in two phases a phase and a compliance phase. The principal objective of the phase was to acquire Salmonella performance standards test data to enable both FSIS ant establishments to see how they were performing relative to the standard. The pre-implementation phase began on June 1, 1997. The compliance phase begins in January 1998. The effective dates for compliance with the Salmonella performance standard are the same as effective dates for HACCP implementation: January 26, 1998, for large plants; January 25, 1999, for small plants; and January 25, 2000, for very small plants. After the effective date(s), Salmonella testing results will trigger regulatory actions when the performance standards set forth in the HACCP/Pathogen Reduction final rule are not met by an establishment.
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