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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

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2015-2017 Subcommittee: Effective Salmonella Control Strategies for Poultry

Subcommittee Members

  • Dr. Guy Loneragan and Dr. Gary Acuff: Working Group Chairs
  • Dr. Arun Bhunia
  • Dr. Scott Hood
  • Dr. Steven Ingham
  • Dr. Bala Kottapalli
  • Dr. Robert LaBudde
  • Dr. Margie Lee
  • Dr. Evelyne Mbandi
  • Dr. Salina Parveen
  • Dr. Ruth Petran
  • Dr. Jennifer Quinlan
  • Ms. Angela Ruple
  • Dr. Stacey Schultz-Cherry
  • Dr. Robert Seward

Executive Summary

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) considers reducing Salmonella in meat, poultry, and egg products and reducing human foodborne salmonellosis top priorities.

Despite a decrease in percent positive Salmonella in FSIS regulated products since implementation of the PR-HACCP Rule, an estimated 1 million domestic illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella annually from all foods (Scallan et al., 2011). Among FSIS-regulated products, the Agency estimates approximately 360,000 salmonellosis cases are from meat, poultry, and egg products. FSIS is committed to taking aggressive steps to prevent Salmonella-related illnesses associated with FSIS products.

Background

In December 2013 FSIS released its Salmonella Action Plan that outlines the steps it will take to address Salmonella in FSIS-regulated products. The comprehensive steps detailed in this plan are geared towards protecting consumers by making meat, poultry, and egg products safer.

Key components of the plan include modernizing the poultry slaughter inspection system, enhancing Salmonella sampling and testing, and ensuring that these programs factor in the latest scientific information available and account for emerging trends in foodborne illness. Inspectors will also be empowered with improved tools to pinpoint problems sooner. With more information about a plant’s performance history and with better methods for assessing in-plant conditions, inspectors will be better equipped to assess Salmonella control in food safety systems, in order to help prevent future outbreaks.

In addition, the plan outlines actions FSIS will take to drive innovations that will lower the incidence of Salmonella contamination in FSIS-regulated products, including establishing new or updated performance standards; developing new strategies for inspection and gathering information throughout the full farm-to-table continuum; addressing all potential sources of Salmonella; and focusing the Agency’s education and outreach tools on Salmonella.

Because reducing the number of Salmonella-related illnesses is a top priority, the Agency is setting new performance standards for chicken parts and updating performance standards for ground poultry, which has been expanded to include all types of comminuted chicken and turkey products.

FSIS is working to ensure alignment with the public health objectives outlined in the Healthy People 2020 Initiative (particularly its focus on efforts to reduce foodborne illnesses like Salmonella), as well with the Agency’s own strategic goals to develop performance standards for Salmonella.

Charge Questions for the Subcommittee

Incidences of foodborne illness and pathogen contamination on poultry products dictate further action on the part of food safety Agencies, industry, and consumers. To achieve the goal of reducing Salmonella infections and improve public health, FSIS realizes that the focus must be throughout the farm-to-table continuum and thus seeks the advice of the National Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) on the following issues.

  1. What criteria define Salmonella that are highly virulent to humans? Are markers serotype specific? What tools are available for continuing to identify the most virulent foodborne salmonellae?

  2. Where does Salmonella reside inside and on the surface of poultry and how do those populations of bacteria contribute to food contamination? Discuss locations, persistence and resistance to interventions. Discuss the latest information on the ecology of Salmonella within or on poultry regarding the gut, cloaca, bone marrow, the heart, skin follicles/skin surfaces, lymphatic system, immune evasion, and other? Discuss strategies to mitigate risk factors at these locations.

  3. Would removing flocks of highly Salmonella-contaminated birds entering the slaughter plant reduce foodborne illnesses in humans? What are important considerations to arriving at a threshold level (prevalence or load: e.g. CFU/gm of feces) of Salmonella associated with incoming birds that would necessitate additional control steps in the food safety system or HACCP plan? What are key considerations/steps for an alternative processing scenario if the threshold level is exceeded?

  4. What should raw poultry establishments consider when determining the appropriate level of Salmonella that would necessitate additional control steps in the food safety system or HACCP plan? What are the factors that affect the threshold level and at what points of processing should measurements be made?

  5. As informed by questions 3 and 4, what methods are best suited to measure pathogen levels on animals and in product more rapidly than current tests? What is a sampling scenario that would enable an establishment to test incoming birds for a threshold Salmonella level and have a result in a timely manner so that processing can proceed as appropriate?

  6. Considering the farm-to-table continuum for poultry, what are the top three focus points, control measures, or best practices, that would be compatible with industry-wide practices, which could be addressed or implemented to achieve the highest rate of reduction of Salmonella with regard to both foodborne illnesses and on product?

 

Last Modified Aug 27, 2015