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Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Preliminary Results, October 2013-December 2013

Attachments to this report:

Executive Summary

  • There were 5,949 samples collected and analyzed for the PR/HACCP Verification program.
  • There were only 4 total PR/HACCP samples collected for ground chicken because sampling of ground poultry was suspended at the start of the Not Ready To Eat (NRTE) Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project, except in Category 3 establishments.
  • From the previous quarter, the percentage of plants in Category 3:
    • No change for Young Chicken plants (4.5%; from 8 out of 175 plants to 8 out of 176 plants)
    • Decreased for Turkey plants (5.8% to 5.7%; from 2 out of 34 plants to 2 plants out of 35)
    • Decreased for Ground Beef plants (3.2% to 2.3%; from 10 out of 307 plants to 7 out of 306 plants)
    • Decreased for Ground Chicken plants (28.5% to 14.3%; 2 out of 7 plants to 1 out of 7 plants)
    • Remained the same for Ground Turkey plants (0%; 0 out of 22 plants)
  • There were 2,855 samples co-analyzed for Campylobacter, with the following percent positive results:
    • Young Chicken – 7.7% (2144 samples analyzed)
    • Turkeys – 2.4% (711 samples analyzed)
  • 81.9% of all establishments are in Category 1, while 3.3% are in Category 3. The remaining plants are in some version of Category 2.
  • NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project Results for all finished products are:
    • Salmonella - 46.93% (1146 out of 2442 samples)
    • Campylobacter – 7.09% (173 out of 2439 samples)

This report discusses the Salmonella and Campylobacter verification sampling results for the fourth quarter CY2013 as presented in Tables 1-7, Chart 1, and Figures 1-7. [1]  It also includes sampling results from the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project as presented in Tables 8a and 8b. [2]

Tables 1a and 1b 
Tables 1a and 1b describe the Salmonella performance standards/guidance for 5 product classes and allowed positives for category 1, 2T, 2 and 3.

Tables 2a and 2b
Table 2a summarizes Salmonella verification samples including Salmonella positive results, based on sample collection date, from October - December 2013 for all five product classes. Table 2b summarizes quantitative (1 ml—regulatory) Campylobacter verification samples including Campylobacter positive results, based on sample collection date, from October - December 2013 for young chicken and turkey carcasses.

Tables 3-7 
Tables 3-7 report the proportion of establishments by categories that have completed at least two recent Salmonella verification-sampling sets. New establishments are not identified in any category until FSIS has documented the results from two sets. An establishment with its last set ≤ 50% of the performance standard or guidance and the prior set at >50% of the performance standard or guidance is sub-categorized as 2T, with T standing for transitioning to Category 1.  Young chicken and young turkey set results are classified using the performance standards that were in place at the time the set was initiated. Table 5 (ground beef) continues to report only those establishments eligible for traditional PR/HACCP Salmonella verification sampling and that have completed two sets.

Tables 8a and 8b  
Table 8a summarizes Salmonella positive results from June 2013 - December 2013 for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project. Table 8b summarizes Campylobacter positive results from June - December 2013 for young chicken and turkey comminuted products for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project.[2]  Both tables also display the quartile distributions of percent positives among the sampled establishments for each type of product.

MT43S 
A total of 1114 samples in the low volume ground beef sampling program (MT43S) were collected and analyzed from October - December 2013, and 15 samples (1.4%) were positive for Salmonella.

Chart 1 
This chart represents the total percentage of establishments within product classes classified by category and sub-category. This chart indicates that as of December 31, 2013, 81.8% of establishments are in Category 1, 8.7% are in Category 2T, 6.0% are in Category 2, and 3.2% are in Category 3.

Figures 1-5 
Figures 1-5 summarize Salmonella positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters.

Figures 6-7 
Figures 6-7 summarize Campylobacter positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters.

NOTE: While earlier quarterly reports included individual sample results from “A” sets only, the current report format summarizes data from all sets. This change was discussed in the 2006-second quarterly report, which can be accessed on the FSIS website:  www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/quarterly-reports-salmonella/q2-cy-2006/.

Additional information regarding this report

In order to handle sample scheduling more efficiently and to update information on actively producing establishments, the Agency continues to automate the sampling algorithm process. Therefore, the total number of active operating establishments can change quarter to quarter as establishments exit or enter the industry. This change does not apply to intermittently producing establishments. The Agency will continue to categorize them because they are considered to be operating at some level.

Given the revised sampling strategy, the percentage of positive samples is no longer useful as an indicator of trends. As described above, FSIS has implemented placing establishments into Category 1, 2T, 2, or 3 as an alternative trend indicator for the Salmonella verification sampling program. While the Agency does not expect the category trend indicator to vary greatly on a quarterly basis, it should facilitate tracking of overall industry performance when examined over multiple years. Other trend indicators continue to be considered.

Beginning March 28, 2008, FSIS posted completed Salmonella sample set results from young chicken slaughter establishments with variable (Category 2) and highly variable (Category 3) process control. Currently only Category 3 young chicken slaughter establishments are posted on the FSIS website.  In October through December 2013, there were 8 establishments in Category 3. FSIS continues to update this information on or about the 15th of each month. The current posting can be accessed at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/salmonella-verification-testing-program/.  

As announced in the January 2008 Federal Register Notice: Salmonella Verification Sampling Program: Response to Comments and New Agency Policies (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/dab45316-44b2-4d75-a91e-a70f83b0cf7d/2006-0034.pdf?MOD=AJPERES),), turkey establishments in Category 2 and 3 were eligible for posting to the FSIS website beginning May 15,  2008. However, because >90% of all turkey establishments eligible for Salmonella testing are in Category 1, and no establishments are in Category 3, turkey establishments are currently not being posted. The Agency is still considering publishing category results for establishments in additional product classes. Annual reports summarizing results for calendar years are available on the FSIS website as well as previous quarterly reports. The restructuring of Salmonella set scheduling, however, means that it is inappropriate to compare results from 2006 onwards to previous years. Similarly, the changes to the Salmonella verification-sampling program prevent valid comparisons of testing results over time (e.g., quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year trends).


[1] This data is presented in the format discussed in the Salmonella second quarterly report CY2008 which can be accessed on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/data-collection-and-reports/microbiology/quarterly-reports-salmonella/q2-2008/ct_index.
[2]The NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project was initiated by Federal Register Notice FSIS–2012–0007: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/0dffacbe-45e8-43ea-8b65-3b7100e19acb/2012-0007.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Table 1a: Salmonella Product classes, performance standards/guidance, and allowed positives for Category 1, 2T, 2 and 3.

Product class

Performance standard 
(percent positive for Salmonella
(%)

Number 
of samples 
tested

Maximum 
number of 
positives 
to achieve standard◊

Category 1§

 

Category 2T 
(letter T 
standing for 
transitioning)§

Category 2§

Category 3§

Young Chicken*

7.5

51

5

recent two set results ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥ 6

Ground Beef Φ

7.5

53

5

most recent two set results set ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥6

Ground Chicken

44.6

53

26

most recent two set results set ≤13

last set ≤13
prior set NOT ≤13

Last set >13
w/o failing

last set ≥27

Ground Turkey Φ

49.9

53

29

most recent two set results set ≤14

last set ≤14
prior set NOT ≤14

Last set >14
w/o failing

Last set ≥30

Turkey*

1.7

56

4

most recent two set results set ≤2

last set ≤2
prior set NOT ≤2

Last set >2
w/o failing

last set ≥5

◊Maximum number of positives is set at the number which would provide 80% likelihood of an establishment passing the sample set, if it were operating at exactly the performance standard (e.g. there is an 80% chance that a young chicken plant that has Salmonella in exactly 7.5% of its product getting 5 or fewer positive samples out of a set of 51).

*New performance standards for young chicken and turkey carcasses were implemented July 1, 2011

§Establishment category, which is based on the most recent two sets completed

ΦFSIS is now rounding down the allowable positives for Category 1 status for those product classes having odd numbered standards or guidelines. Therefore the current performance standards will be: Young Chicken (Category1: ≤2 vs. ≤3 Salmonella positive results), Ground Beef (Category 1: ≤2 vs. ≤3 Salmonella positive results), and Ground Turkey (Category 1: ≤14 vs. ≤15 Salmonella positive results).

Table 1b: Campylobacter Product classes, performance standards/guidance, and allowed positives for Category 1, 2T, 2 and 3.

Product class

Performance 
standard (percent 
positive for 
Campylobacter (%)

Number 
of samples 
tested

Maximum 
number of 
positives 
to achieve 
standard

Category 1

 

Category 2T 
(letter T 
standing for 
transitioning)

Category 2

Category 3

Young Chicken

10.4

51

8

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

Turkey

0.79

56

3

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

T.B.D.

Categories for Campylobacter To Be Determined (T.B.D.)


Table 2a: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program by Product Class and Establishment Size - Fourth Quarter CY2013 (October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013).

All Sets

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Product ID

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Young Chicken

1345

14

1.0%

569

38

6.7%

230

39

17.0%

2144

91

4.2%

Ground Beef

483

19

3.9%

1878

37

2.0%

729

8

1.1%

3090

64

2.1%

Ground Chicken

0

0

0

4

2

50.0%

0

0

0

4

2

50.0%

Ground Turkey

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Turkeys

447

4

0.9%

254

8

3.1%

10

1

10.0%

711

13

1.8%

 

Table 2b: Percent Positive Quantitative (1 ml—regulatory) Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program by Product Class and Establishment Size - Fourth Quarter CY2013 (October 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013).

All Sets

Establishment Size

Large

Small

Very Small

All Sizes

Product ID

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Samples

Positive

% Posi-
tive

Young Chicken

1345

17

1.3%

569

94

16.5%

230

55

23.9%

2144

166

7.7%

Turkeys

447

4

0.9%

254

13

5.1%

10

0

0.0%

711

17

2.4%

 


Table 3: Young Chicken Establishments by Category, 4th Quarter CY2013

Young Chicken Establishments, by Category, Quarter 4 CY2013
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 119 67.6% 122 70.1% 129 73.7% 131 74.4%
2T 18 10.2% 17 9.7% 25 14.2% 25 14.2%
2 24 13.6% 24 13.7% 13 7.4% 12 6.8%
3 15 8.5% 11 6.3% 8 4.5% 8 4.5%
TOTAL * 176 100.0% 174 100.0% 175 100% 176 100.0%

*Total Number of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets

 

Table 4: Turkey Establishments by Category, 4th Quarter CY2013

Turkey Establishments, by Category, Quarter 4 CY2013
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 28 82.3% 28 82.3% 28 82.3% 27 77.1%
2T 4 11.7% 5 14.7% 2 5.8% 3 8.6%
2 0 0 0 0 2 5.8% 3 8.6%
3 2 5.8% 1 2.9% 2 5.8% 2 5.7%
TOTAL * 34 100.0% 34 100.0% 34 100.0% 35 100.0%

*Total Number Of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets.

 

Table 5: Ground Beef Establishments by Category, 4th Quarter CY2013

Ground Beef Establishments, by Category, Quarter 4 CY2013
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 244 83.2% 262 86.1% 265 86.3% 264 86.3%
2T 23 7.8% 17 5.5% 21 6.8% 18 5.9%
2 23 7.8% 21 6.9% 11 3.5% 17 5.5%
3 3 1.0% 4 1.3% 10 3.2% 7 2.3%
TOTAL * 293 100.0% 304 100.0% 307 100.0% 306 100.0%

*Total Number of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets.

 

Table 6: Ground Chicken Establishments by Category, 4th Quarter CY2013

Ground Chicken Establishments, by Category, Quarter 4 CY2013
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 5 62.5% 5 62.5% 4 57.1% 5 71.4%
2T 1 12.5% 1 12.5% 1 14.2% 1 14.3%
2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 2 25.0% 2 25.0% 2 28.5% 1 14.3%
TOTAL * 8 100.0% 8 100.0% 7 100.0% 7 100.0%

*Total Number of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets

 

Table 7: Ground Turkey Establishments by Category, 4th Quarter CY2013

Ground Turkey Establishments, by Category, Quarter 4 CY2013
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 4 Percent of TOTAL
1 20 90.9% 20 90.9% 20 90.9% 20 90.9%
2T 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 1 4.5%
2 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 1 4.5%
3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL * 22 100.0% 22 100.0% 22 100.0% 22 100.0%

*Total Number Of Establishments Currently Operating and Subject to Sampling That Have At Least Two Completed Sets.

 

Table 8a: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category – All Samples (June 1, 2013 through December 30, 2013)**

Product Group             Finished Product

Overall Samples

Establishment Data

Establishment Percent Positive Distribution

Number Analyzed

Number Positive

Percent Positive

Plants Sampled

Avg.  
Samples
per Plant

Q1

Median

Q3

Chicken A. Ground Chicken

691

292

42.26%

62

11.15

15.79%

34.17%

68.75%

B. Mechanically Separated Chicken

697

578

82.93%

42

16.6

71.43%

92.67%

96.15%

C. Other Comminuted Chicken

189

79

41.80%

24

7.88

20.10%

43.27%

70.83%

Chicken Subtotal

1577

949

60.18%

101

15.61

21.05%

57.14%

90.48%

Turkey D. Ground Turkey

660

141

21.36%

46

14.35

4.35%

20.00%

34.78%

E. Mechanically Separated Turkey

66

30

45.45%

12

5.5

13.64%

36.93%

84.62%

F. Other Comminuted Turkey

139

26

18.71%

22

6.32

0.00%

0.00%

33.33%

Turkey Subtotal

865

197

22.77%

57

15.18

4.35%

16.67%

34.78%

Salmonella Grand Total

2442

1146

46.93%

143

17.08

15.38%

36.00%

80.00%

**NOTE: The finished product information is obtained here through inspection personnel responses on the sampling forms and is subject to further review by the Agency for future analyses.

 

Table 8b: Percent Positive Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project by reported Finished Product Category - All Samples (June 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013)**

Product Group Finished Product

Overall Samples

Establishment Data

Establishment Percent Positive Distribution

Number Analyzed

Number Positive

Percent Positive

Plants Sampled

Avg. Samples
per Plant

Q1

Median

Q3

Chicken A. Ground Chicken

689

18

2.61%

62

11.11

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

B. Mechanically Separated Chicken

696

144

20.69%

42

16.57

4.17%

14.56%

26.09%

C. Other Comminuted Chicken

190

2

1.05%

25

7.6

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Chicken Subtotal

1575

164

10.41%

101

15.59

0.00%

0.00%

11.54%

Turkey D. Ground Turkey

659

6

0.91%

46

14.33

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

E. Mechanically Separated Turkey

66

3

4.55%

12

5.5

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

F. Other Comminuted Turkey

139

0

0.00%

22

6.32

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Turkey Subtotal

864

9

1.04%

57

15.16

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Campylobacter Grand Total

2439

173

7.09%

143

17.06

0.00%

0.00%

6.25%

**NOTE: The finished product information is obtained here through inspection personnel responses on the sampling forms and is subject to further review by the Agency for future analyses.

 

Data Source: FSIS Data Warehouse

Last Modified May 30, 2014