- Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, Working Group Chair
- Dr. Larry Beuchat
- Dr. Timothy Freier
- Dr. Linda Harris
- Ms. Barbara Kowalcyk
- Dr. Alejandro Mazzotta
- Dr. Donald Schaffner
- Ms. Virginia Scott
- Dr. Sterling Thompson
Background and Work Charge
Not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) poultry products, including products that
may be encased in a batter that has been subjected to heat in order
to impart a cooked color and to set the batter, may be contaminated
with pathogens. Cooking instructions for NRTE poultry products may
not be validated for safety to fully address the intended use or
the method of cooking by the consumer. Safety-based labeling messages
guiding consumers may not adequately convey critical food safety
preparation information. In addition, the current government guidance
on safe cooking of poultry may not fully encompass new science associated
with the pathogens or the levels of pathogens on consumer-ready
products. Consumers need clear guidance to know what time/temperature
needs to be attained during cooking to ensure safe poultry products.
The primary microbiological pathogens of concern include Salmonella
spp., but others, including Listeria monocytogenes, may
need to be considered.
Charge to the Subcommittee
The charge to the subcommittee is to determine the minimal requirements
for achieving microbiologically safe cooked poultry and associated
methods for objective measurement. The subcommittee should assess
all pathogens of concern and poultry cooking methods that may be
used by consumers. The information developed by the subcommittee
will be used by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to
develop consumer messages on the cooking parameters necessary to
ensure the safety of poultry.
The questions to be addressed
- What are the limitations in various cooking methods,
particularly microwaving, that may need to be conveyed through
labeling and other means to ensure that poultry cooked by consumers
- Do cooking requirements differ by type of poultry
(e.g., chicken versus turkey, whole carcasses versus parts, ground
products with different levels of fat, raw versus partially cooked)?
- What effect, if any, does the condition of poultry
just prior to cooking (e.g., chilled versus frozen) have on the
- What is the single time/temperature combination for
each type of poultry (see question 2 above) for consumers to use
to ensure safe cooked poultry?
- What parameters should inspected establishments consider
in developing validated cooking instructions for use by consumers?
- Since consumers typically are not as capable of calibrating
the cooking equipment and temperature measuring devices as inspected
establishments, what, if any, special considerations should be
considered in identification of safe cooking guidance for consumers
(e.g., adding a safety margin to the minimum time/temperature)?
- What safety-based labeling considerations should be
considered for conveying safe cooking instructions to consumers?