On July 1, 2011, FSIS implemented
Campylobacter performance standards
for whole carcasses of young chickens (broilers) and young turkeys, in conjunction with new lower standards for
Salmonella in those same market classes. For
Campylobacter, the performance standards and sample set criteria for tracking and reporting to establishments is applied to results from the smaller of the two laboratory
Campylobacter sample portions (1 mL), which detects higher levels of contamination. The
Campylobacter performance standard (see
Table 1) is
10.4% for young chickens (or ≤ 8 positive samples out of a 51 sample set) and
0.79% for young turkeys (or ≤ 3 positive samples out of a 56 sample set).
FSIS has performed an initial analysis of the
Campylobacter results (see
Table 2) by market class (product) and HACCP establishment size (large, small, or very small
). The analysis was based on the first six months of available verification testing data (July through December, 2011). Overall, the
young chicken industry is meeting the acceptable percent positive rate reflected in the new standard at 9.43% (10.4% acceptable), while the
young turkey industry is well above, adversely, the standard at 4.22% (0.79% acceptable).
In addition, the Agency has looked at a comparison of
Campylobacter verification set results, according to whether the set passed or failed for each pathogen (see
Table 3). Available information is very limited at this time, with only 42 young chicken and 15 young turkey sets completed. While it is still too early to draw long-term conclusions, it is interesting to note that to date the vast majority of
Campylobacter set failures occurred in sets that passed the
Salmonella performance standard.
1 There are a number of establishments that do not have the HACCP size accurately reflected in the old FSIS database. This is rapidly being corrected with the full implementation of the Agency's new Public Health Information System (PHIS).