Component 1: Requiring incoming flocks be tested for Salmonella before entering an establishment
FSIS is considering requiring establishments to characterize Salmonella as a hazard reasonably likely to occur at receiving and that incoming flocks be tested for Salmonella before entering an establishment. Under this approach, the flock would have to meet a predetermined target for Salmonella at receiving, which may be industry-wide or establishment-specific, and the establishment must demonstrate that its subsequent process will be effective in reducing Salmonella so that the product will meet the final product standard.
Salmonella enters an establishment in and on the birds. The goal of this component is to incentivize use of preharvest interventions that reduce the level of incoming Salmonella contamination or mitigate the risk of a particular serotype entering the establishment.
FSIS is currently evaluating whether Salmonella is a hazard reasonably likely to occur at receiving and if establishments must, therefore, address Salmonella at receiving as part of their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. HACCP, which is FSIS’ prevention-based approach to food safety, requires that an establishment’s hazard analysis include food safety hazards that can occur before, during, and after entry into the establishment. Salmonella is a significant microbial hazard in raw poultry and for this reason, FSIS is contemplating a requirement that all establishments monitor Salmonella levels or serotypes in incoming flocks. Establishments would be expected to have procedures in place to address the incoming
This component of the framework under consideration would also require that each flock received at the establishment is accompanied with documentation demonstrating that the birds were tested for Salmonella before slaughter and documenting the Salmonella levels or serotypes. FSIS would use periodic Salmonella testing at rehang to verify this documentation.
Additionally, the agency is considering that if a flock’s documented Salmonella load does not meet the predetermined target at receiving, then the establishment could implement corrective actions and additional interventions necessary to reduce the Salmonella load and meet the final product standard, such as processing a more contaminated flock at the end of the day (“logistical slaughter”). This assessment could be based on the documented ability of an establishment’s processes to consistently decrease the Salmonella load.
Under this approach, FSIS does not intend to require industry to adopt any specific pre-harvest interventions but would allow flexibility for industry to adopt the practices that are most effective at controlling Salmonella in each particular operation. Establishments would be encouraged to work with their suppliers and contractors to ensure they are implementing best practices in reducing the Salmonella hazard in breeding facilities, hatcheries, grow out, and throughout transport.