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Quarterly Progress Report on Salmonella and Campylobacter Testing of Selected Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Preliminary Results, July 2014 to September 2014

Attachments to this report:

Executive Summary

  • There were 3985 samples collected and analyzed for the PR/HACCP Verification program.
  • There were no PR/HACCP samples collected for ground chicken and ground turkey 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.
  • The MT43S sampling program was discontinued at the end of May 2014. Instead, the MT43 sampling program is now co-analyzing ground beef for both E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. [1]
  • A total of 2,968 samples were collected in the raw ground beef sampling program MT43. Of those, 94 (3.2%) were positive for Salmonella.
  • From the previous quarter, the percentage of plants in Category 3:
    • Decreased for Young Chicken plants (4.5% to 3.5%; from 8 out of 178 plants to 6 out of 171 plants)
    • Remained the same for Turkey plants (0%; 0 out of 35 plants to 0 of 29 plants)
    • Increased for Ground Beef plants (1.0% to 1.6%; from 3 out of 300 plants to 3 out of 192 plants)
    • Decreased for Ground Chicken plants (25.0% to 0%; from 2 out of 8 plants to 0 out of 1 plants)
    • Remained the same for Ground Turkey plants (0%; 0 out of 22 plants to 0 out of 5)
  • There were 2918 samples co-analyzed for Campylobacter, with the following percent positive results:
    • Young Chicken – 6.9% (2396 samples analyzed)
    • Turkeys – 1.2% (522 samples analyzed)
  • 88.2% of all establishments are in Category 1, while 2.3% 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 – 46.8% (2802 out of 5984 samples)
    • Campylobacter – 7.6% (453 out of 5978 samples)
  • Out of 1747 samples analyzed for other 7 MT projects, 67 samples (3.8%) were found positive, while in imported raw products, only one sample was positive (0.8%).

This report discusses the Salmonella and Campylobacter verification sampling results for the Second Quarter CY2014 as presented in Tables 1-7, Chart 1, and Figures 1-7. [2] It also includes sampling results from the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project as presented in Tables 8a and 8b. [3]

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 July–September 2014 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 July–September 2014 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–September 2014 for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project. Table 8b summarizes Campylobacter positive results from June 2013–September 2014 for young chicken and turkey comminuted products for the NRTE Comminuted Poultry Sampling Project. [3] Both tables also display the quartile distributions of percent positives among the sampled establishments for each type of product.

Tables 9 and 10
Table 9 summarizes Salmonella samples analyzed from all other raw beef projects, while Table 10 includes the samples taken from all raw products imported from other countries. [4]

MT43S [1]
A total of zero (0) samples in the low volume ground beef sampling program (MT43S) were collected and analyzed from July–September 2014 for Salmonella because the project was discontinued.

MT43
A total of 2,968 samples were collected in the ground beef sampling program MT43. Of those, 94 (3.2%) were positive for Salmonella. [1]

Salmonella in Other MT (Beef) and Imported Raw Products
In addition to the MT43 raw beef project, as of third quarter CY2014, FSIS has decided to post Salmonella results from other MT projects. [1] A total of 1747 samples were analyzed from other seven MT projects for Salmonella in third quarter CY2014, from which 67 samples were positive. The highest rate of positives (7.24%) was found in Raw Beef Components, followed by Beef Manufacturing Trimmings (4.96%).

In imported raw product from all other countries, FSIS found one sample positive out of 132 analyzed 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 September 30, 2014, 88.2% of establishments are in Category 1, 5.5% are in Category 2T, 4.0% are in Category 2, and 2.3% are in Category 3.

Figures 1-3
Figures 1-3 summarize Salmonella positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters. Past reports included figures with ground turkey and ground chicken sampling results. The last samples for these products under this program were taken in December 2013. Therefore, those figures are not included in this report. These products are now sampled in the Not Ready To Eat Comminuted Turkey and Not Ready To Eat Comminuted Chicken programs. The data from these newer programs are shown in Tables 8a and 8b.

Figures 4-5
Figures 4-5 summarize Campylobacter positive results by product classes for the most recent five quarters.

Figure 6
Figure 6 summarizes Salmonella positive results by project code in this quarter for other seven raw beef projects.

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 from 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 July 2014, there were 8 establishments in Category 3, in August and September 2014, there were 7 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. The Agency is still considering publishing category results for establishments in additional product classes.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 onward 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] The MT43 raw ground beef sampling program only began testing for Salmonella starting June 29, 2014 by Federal Register Notice FSIS 28-14. 47 samples were analyzed (one positive) at the end of June and are not included in this report. More samples were analyzed for E. coli than for Salmonella as the Salmonella co-analyses began. Results for both pathogens are expected to be proportionate in CY 2014 quarter 4, with additional summary information becoming available.

[2] 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.

[3] 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

[4] Raw beef samples, including import MT08 and MT51 samples, collected for STEC analysis are also analyzed for Salmonella by FSIS Federal Register Notice 18-15


Tables

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 
(T 
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 - Third Quarter CY2014 (July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014)

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

1479

22

1.5%

557

23

4.1%

360

54

15.0%

2396

99

4.1%

Ground Beef

72

4

5.6%

789

25

3.2%

206

6

2.9%

1067

35

3.3%

Ground Chicken

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Ground Turkey

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

0

0

N/A

Turkeys

209

3

1.4%

313

7

2.2%

0

0

0

522

10

1.9%


Table 2b: Percent Positive Quantitative (1 mlregulatory) Campylobacter Tests (All Samples) in the PR/HACCP Verification Testing Program by Product Class and Establishment Size - Third Quarter CY2014 (July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014)

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

1479

19

1.3%

557

44

7.9%

360

102

28.3%

2396

165

6.9%

Turkeys

209

1

0.5%

313

5

1.6%

0

0

N/A

522

6

1.2%


Table 3: Young Chicken Establishments by Salmonella Category, 3rd Quarter CY2014

Young Chicken Establishments by Category
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL
1 141 80.6% 146 82.0% 150 87.7%
2T 16 9.1% 12 6.7% 8 4.7%
2 12 6.9% 12 6.7% 7 4.1%
3 6 3.4% 8 4.5% 6 3.5%
TOTAL * 175 100.0% 178 100.0% 171 100.0%

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


Table 4: Turkey Establishments by Salmonella Category, 3rd Quarter CY2014

Turkey Establishments by Category
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL
1 26 74.3% 27 77.1% 26 89.7%
2T 4 11.4% 5 14.3% 1 3.4%
2 3 8.6% 3 8.6% 2 6.9%
3 2 5.7% 0 0 0 0
TOTAL * 35 100.0% 35 100.0% 29 100.0%

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


Table 5: Ground Beef Establishments by Salmonella Category, 3rd Quarter CY2014

Ground Beef Establishments by Category
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL
1 269 88.8% 269 89.7% 170 88.5%
2T 13 4.2% 21 7.0% 12 6.3%
2 15 5.0% 7 2.3% 7 3.6%
3 6 2.0% 3 1.0% 3 1.6%
TOTAL * 303 100.0% 300 100.0% 192 100.0%

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


Table 6: Ground Chicken Establishments by Salmonella Category, 3rd Quarter CY2014

Ground Chicken Establishments by Category
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL
1 5 83.3% 5 62.5% 0 0
2T 1 16.7% 1 12.5% 1 100.0%
2 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 0 0 2 25.0% 0 0
TOTAL * 6 100.0% 8 100.0% 1 100.0%

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


Table 7: Ground Turkey Establishments by Salmonella Category, 3rd Quarter CY2014

Ground Turkey Establishments by Category
Category Quarter 1 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 2 Percent of TOTAL Quarter 3 Percent of TOTAL
1 20 90.9% 20 90.9% 5 100.0%
2T 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 0 0
2 1 4.5% 1 4.5% 0 0
3 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL * 22 100.0% 22 100.0% 5 100.0%

*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 September 30, 2014)**

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 1529 608 39.76% 80 19.11 15.83% 33.33% 61.90%
B. Mechanically Separated Chicken 1798 1482 82.42% 54 33.3 64.29% 89.35% 98.21%
C. Other Comminuted Chicken 564 236 41.84% 36 15.67 11.27% 35.09% 60.16%
Chicken Subtotal 3891 2326 59.78% 132 29.48 21.83% 49.19% 83.85%
Turkey D. Ground Turkey 1586 322 20.30% 54 29.37 0.00% 12.77% 29.31%
E. Mechanically Separated Turkey 162 90 55.56% 22 7.36 33.33% 53.59% 100.00%
F. Other Comminuted Turkey 345 64 18.55% 32 10.78 0.00% 2.63% 32.07%
Turkey Subtotal 2093 476 22.74% 75 27.91 5.36% 16.39% 37.74%
Salmonella Grand Total 5984 2802 46.82% 176 34 16.53% 34.60% 70.5%

**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 September 30, 2014)**

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 1527 49 3.21% 80 19.09 0.00% 0.00% 0.78%
B. Mechanically Separated Chicken 1799 368 20.46% 54 33.31 0.00% 16.53% 25.00%
C. Other Comminuted Chicken 564 17 3.01% 37 15.24 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Chicken Subtotal 3890 434 11.16% 132 29.47 0.00% 0.00% 12.30%
Turkey D. Ground Turkey 1581 12 0.76% 54 29.28 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
E. Mechanically Separated Turkey 162 7 4.32% 22 7.36 0.00% 0.00% 3.33%
F. Other Comminuted Turkey 345 0 0.00% 32 10.78 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Turkey Subtotal 2088 19 0.91% 75 27.84 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Campylobacter Grand Total 5978 453 7.58% 176 33.97 0.00% 0.00% 6.96%

**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 9: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in Other Raw Beef Sampling Projects–All Samples (July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014)

Project

Total Samples Analyzed

Total Sample Positive

Percent Positive

Retail E. coli O157:H7 Raw Ground Beef

140

3

2.14%

E. coli O157:H7 in Raw Ground Beef - Traceback

83

1

1.20%

E. coli O157:H7 Follow-up Sampling of Suppliers of Beef Manufacturing Trimmings or Components for Raw Ground Beef

7

0

0.00%

E. coli O157:H7 Follow-up Sampling of Beef Manufacturer Trim or Other Raw Ground Beef or Beef Patty Components

175

8

4.57%

E. coli O157:H7 Sampling of Raw Ground Beef Components or Raw Beef Patty Components (other than trim)

138

10

7.24%

Sampling of Bench Trim for further use in ANY raw, non-intact beef products - E. coli

358

3

0.83%

E. coli O157:H7 Sampling Beef Manufacturing Trimmings - Domestic

846

42

4.96%


Table 10: Percent Positive Salmonella Tests (All Samples) in Raw Imported Beef Products Sampling Projects–All Samples (July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014)

Product

Total Sample Analyzed

Total Sample Positive

Percent Positive

Import- Beef Products (Ground Beef and Trim &  Components)

132

1

0.75%

 

Data Source: FSIS Data Warehouse

Last Modified Apr 24, 2015