The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (PR/HACCP) Systems final rule sets Salmonella performance standards for establishments that slaughter or produce selected classes of food animals or raw ground products 2 . Nationwide microbiological baseline studies conducted prior to 1996 established the PR/HACCP performance standards for carcasses of cows/bulls, steers/heifers, market hogs, broilers, ground beef, ground chicken, and ground turkey. In June 2006, FSIS began sampling turkey carcasses for Salmonella. Guidance on standards for turkey carcasses is available in the Federal Register 3 .
Prior to 2006, the FSIS regulatory program for identifying Salmonella in raw products consisted of two phases: non-targeted and targeted testing. Non-targeted or "A" set sample collection occurred randomly at selected establishments with a goal of scheduling every eligible establishment at least once a year. Other codes (e.g., "B", "C", and "D") represented sample sets collected from establishments targeted for additional testing following an A set failure.
In June 2006, FSIS developed new criteria for scheduling establishments for sampling, replacing the targeted/non-targeted approach with risk-based sampling. The new scheduling criteria focused FSIS resources on establishments with the most Salmonella positive samples 6 , especially serotypes most frequently associated with human salmonellosis as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 . One of the goals of the revised risk-based program is to identify the source of serotypes of the greatest human health concern and to report those findings directly to establishments. Criteria for scheduling Salmonella HACCP verification sets were further updated in 2011 7 . To be noted in the updated criteria is the fact that sample sets will no longer be scheduled for Market Hogs, Cows/Bulls, or Steers/Heifers 7 .
The Agency provided individual test results to establishments before completion of a set 4 , 5 . In February 2006, FSIS began reporting quarterly summary results from Salmonella verification testing. The quarterly results for 2011 are provided below.
Each table in this report identifies the 10 most commonly isolated serotypes by name for each product class during each quarter. Those 10 most commonly isolated serotypes are ranked by percent positive. When there is more than one serotype in tenth place, all serotypes in tenth place are listed. In addition, the tables include entries classified as "other" serotypes which include both serotypes that were not in the top 10 as well as "unidentified" serotypes.
Among all product types tested in Quarter 3, the Salmonella serotypes which ranked among the 5 most commonly isolated included:
- Kentucky (92 out of 409 positives),
- Montevideo (68 out of 409 positives),
- Enteritidis (38 out of 409 positives),
- Infantis (21 out of 409 positives),
- Anatum (14 out of 409 positives).
Among all product types tested in Quarter 4, the Salmonella serotypes which ranked among the 5 most commonly isolated included:
- Kentucky (52 out of 249 positives),
- Enteritidis (24 out of 249 positives),
- Montevideo (22 out of 249 positives),
- Dublin (16 out of 249 positives),
- Infantis (13 out of 249 positives).
Because Salmonella set scheduling was restructured in 2006, sampling from previous years differs and comparison of results prior to and after 2006 would not be appropriate. For such comparisons, the results of upcoming nationwide baseline studies can provide valid estimates of the prevalence of certain pathogens of public health concern and will permit valid statistical comparisons to be made over time 7 .
1 CDC. 2010. Preliminary FoodNet Data on the Incidence of Infection with Pathogens Transmitted Commonly through Food — 10 States, 2009. Accessed on 19 April 2011.
2 Federal Register. 1996. Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems, Final Rule. Accessed on 8 January 2012.
3 Federal Register. 2005. Generic E. coli and Salmonella Baseline Results. Accessed on 19 April 2011.
4 Federal Register. 2006. Salmonella Verification Sample Results Reporting: Agency Policy and Use in Public Health Protection. Accessed on 8 January 2012.
5 Federal Register. 2008. Salmonella Verification Sampling Program: Response to Comments and New Agency Policies Accessed on 8 January 2012.
6 FSIS. 2006. Scheduling Criteria for Salmonella Sets in Raw Classes of Product. Accessed on 19 April 2011.
7 FSIS. 2011. FSIS Scheduling Criteria and Algorithm for the Salmonella and Campylobacter Verification Sampling Program for Raw Meat and Poultry. Accessed on 1 July 2012.